In the thread about Eric Schmidt's comments regarding Bitcoin, I began digging into Google Bucks. It turns out he mentioned it in his 2011 keynote at the Mobile World Congress (see the other thread for the video and time ranges). During that segment he also talks about NFC. He mentioned a secure, 80 byte code that is embedded into NFC devices. Previously I had just thought of NFC as a communications protocol, but these comments made me think there's more to it. If NFC devices have an 80 byte code embedded in them, then presumably this is a private key of some sort. If these devices are only available through providers that collect identifying information about you (i.e. mobile carriers that make you pledge your first born to obtain a phone), then surely they can connect any NFC device back to an individual. And if they can do that, they can trace your every financial transaction (and if it becomes popular enough, perhaps your every communication). I'm not an expert on NFC, but I wonder whether the standard is such that any person can create their own NFC device with a uniquely generated private key (good), or if they've instituted measures that ensure NFC devices (and the associated private key) can only be obtained through channels that would connect your identity to this NFC key (very bad). I'm concerned it's the latter.
This poses the question: is NFC actually a strategy to institute a system whereby all communications (especially financial communications) can be tracked (by institutions that don't have your best interests in mind).
NFC is a communication system. Essentially very short range radio. Actually, it is an extension of RFID, from what I can tell. My guess is that someone's patents were expiring, so they came to the amazing revelation that two intelligent devices may want to communicate with each other, rather than always assuming that the peer was an unpowered tag.
And since it looks like something very close to 100% of all NFC communication today is along the lines of "Here is my credit card number!", it doesn't seem productive to get upset that your phone is identifying itself at the same time.