Tea Gardens: RFID and Common Pool Resources
Andrew Wilson (The Media Centre, UK)

Abstract. This paper outlines popular concerns about RFID technology and its implications for privacy and civil liberties. These concerns are based on the assumption that RFID will be used for "top down" surveillance by governments and corporations against individual citizens. This assumption is contrasted with Elinor Ostrom's work on the self-organised "bottom up" management of Common Pool Resources, such as irrigation water and fish stocks, which rely on mutual monitoring, or "peer to peer" surveillance, to preserve these renewable resources. A role for wireless sensor technology in lowering the transaction costs of mutual monitoring is proposed. The paper then describes a practical experiment using RFID to manage a simple but unusual CPR.