Recently, some social media users have been sharing images online of radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags on Victoria’s Secret clothing items and claiming they are being used to track users. This claim is untrue.
Some of the posts falsely claim a link to sex trafficking.
One post reads: “So the person who created and runs victoria secret (sic) buys people’s souls and he has something to do with the sex trafficking going on. did you know that if you cut your tag in half, there is a chip/tracker on the inside. if you don’t want to cut your tag to see, just put it up to the light. shocked (also tell me why the trackers are ONLY in bras and lingerie?? not shirts, sweatpants, ONLY lingerie).”
Impinj, an RFID company, reported in November 2019 that clothing retailers, including Inditex, Nike, Levi’s, Macy’s, Lululemon, Uniqlo and L Brands, use RFID technology to keep track of inventories
Regarding L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret, Impinj said: “About 1,100 of the company’s stores are slated to begin using RAIN RFID by summer 2020, with almost 350 receiving these capabilities by the end of this year. Victoria’s Secret is one of retail’s largest specialty apparel brands and is planning to launch RFID to provide real-time inventory tracking across the chain.”
In a 2019 investor update meeting document, L Brands discussed the use of digital data science and technology, including RFID. A spokesperson for Victoria’s Secret told Reuters via email: “Like many other retailers, this technology helps us deliver a great store experience by ensuring we have the right products available for our customers. We only use this technology in our back room and sales floors to help us manage inventory so that our associates can efficiently support our customers’ needs.”
In other words the allegations against Victoria’s Secret are false — the lingerie maker uses RFID tags on items strictly for inventory purposes.