Microsoft on Aug. 25 announced plans to track Australian delegates attending its annual Tech.Ed conference in Sydney next week using RFID tags embedded in conference badges, CNET reports. The move comes months after researchers and students at the University of Washington began a social-networking experiment in which participants voluntarily tagged themselves (see "Study probes RFID use in schools" Microsoft’s social experiment can take place only over the five days of the conference, although it could involve a much larger sample size than the UW experiment, with the conference typically attracting no fewer than 1,000 delegates. The software giant will allow delegates to opt out of the tracking experiment, but they will be enticed to participate with the offer of greater access to conference information. The benefits promoted to delegates to partake the RFID tag experiment include access to real-time information on when sessions are filling up, the ability to see what sessions others are interested in, and tracking where Microsoft regional directors are. Microsoft also will track sessions that each delegate attends and will use that information to customize sessions, the company said in a press statement…

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