Radio Frequency Identification technology, or RFID, is being
used in a number of settings from grocery stores and other retail outlets, to keeping track of
pets and cattle, to license plates and passports. But the RFID systems are a clear threat to
privacy, and recent history has shown that over-reliance on any kind of computer
technology can be a disaster when the computers replace common sense.
More recently, many people have become convinced that it won't be long until everyone
is required to accept RFID tags embedded in their skin. When the chips are implanted, they
will leave a mark, and without that mark, many people believe that it will be impossible to
buy or sell anything.
Before that day arrives, RFID systems will be used in a number of supposedly beneficial applications
so that we can see what a great tool it could be for fighting terrorism and illegal immigration and
all sorts of other problems. But remember, cattle are branded for the benefit of the farmer,
not the cows. And when government officials assure you that RFID tags can't be copied, cloned or
read by unauthorized snoops, don't believe it.
While barcodes have historically been the primary means of tracking products,
RFID systems are rapidly becoming the preferred technology for keeping tabs
on people, pets, products, and even vehicles. One reason for this is because
the read/write capability of an active RFID system enables the use of interactive
applications. Also, the tags can be read from a distance and through a variety of
substances such as snow, fog, ice, or paint, where barcodes have proved
A parallel technology involves the widespread use
of license plate readers.
You may voluntarily forfeit your privacy by the use of
a supermarket discount card, but you may not be aware of other
technology working to identify who buys what, and where it all goes. Unlike barcodes, Radio Frequency IDentification
(RFID) chips make it possible to identify someone or something at a considerable distance from the reader. That could
be really convenient at the grocery store, or it could be a real problem if you don't like to be followed, probed and audited
wherever you go.
Another way to sacrifice your privacy, inadvertently or not, is through the use
which is like asking -- no, paying -- a benevolent Big Brother to follow you around
in case you have a wreck or get lost in a strange city. That's all perfectly okay,
but the integrity of the system depends on people doing the right thing all the time,
which (obviously) isn't always the case. If Uncle Sam (the IRS, FBI, or CIA)
wanted to follow you around, the OnStar system would be the handiest tool to use.
If you are interested in RFID issues, you may
consider Toll Road RFID Tags and license
plate scanners to be a threat to privacy, anonymity and individual liberty. Unfortunately,
the courts have ruled that there can be no expectation of privacy or anonymity on the highway.
likely to insert data chips into game balls in preseason, Thursdays. The NFL is finalizing plans to insert
custom-made data chips into the game balls used in the 2016 preseason and Thursday night regular-season games, a league
source said Sunday night. The data would be used for research that could spark significant changes in officiating,
kicking and other areas as soon as the 2017 season. The Toronto Sun reported earlier Sunday that the league would
use chips in K-balls to help determine the potential impact of narrowing the goalposts sometime in the future.
FDA & VeriChip try to Spin Spy Chip
Scandal. After a recent investigation by the Associated Press uncovered the fact that substantial evidence
exists, linking FDA-approved, human-implantable spychips, manufactured by VeriChip Corporation, with cancers found in
numerous lab animals and at least one pet dog, both the FDA and VeriChip have been in full spin mode, trying to avoid a
full-scale investigation that has the potential to bring down not only VeriChip, but quite possibly former Health and Human
Services Secretary, Tommy Thompson. It's important to note that Thompson, who was Secretary of the department that oversaw
the FDA, at the time that VeriChip received its FDA approval for their spychip, resigned that post just two weeks after that
approval and within five months, held a very lucrative position on the board of directors of both VeriChip and its parent
company, Applied Digital Solutions.
cards? Most small business owners unaware of upcoming credit card transaction changes.
A majority of small-businesses owners are unaware of an impending shift that could leave them liable
for fraud committed with a new generation of chip-imbedded credit cards.
All American Credit Cards Will Disappear
in 2015 and be Replaced with RFID Chip Technology. The new EMV credit card system in
the U.S. is set to be rolled out by October, 2015. Also going away is the ability to sign for your
purchases, that will no longer be necessary. Instead, you will enter a PIN to verify that you are
the holder of the card. Removing the human element is one more step in the march towards the Mark Of
The Beast system that will be in place during the Tribulation under the Antichrist. Obviously,
all this is leading to a microchip being placed inside every human being, which would be the only
way to guarantee that your card will not be lost or stolen.
wants to implant passwords in your stomach and your brain. PayPal is working on a new generation of embeddable,
injectable and ingestible devices that could replace passwords as a means of identification. Jonathan LeBlanc, PayPal's
global head of developer evangelism, claims that these devices could include brain implants, wafer-thin silicon chips that can
be embedded into the skin, and ingestible devices with batteries that are powered by stomach acid. These devices would
allow "natural body identification," by monitoring internal body functions like heartbeat, glucose levels and vein recognition,
Mr LeBlanc told the Wall Street Journal.
and Quill: How EMV Will Increase Card Fraud in the U.S. First, while the U.S. accounts
for 25 percent of global card volume, it attracts 50 percent of all card fraud — because
we still rely on magnetic stripes and signatures in cursive to secure and verify card transactions.
Fun fact #1: Cursive was invented to prevent lifting your quill from the page and blotting ink all
over your scroll. I'm not kidding. In response to better pen and ink technologies developed decades
ago (not to mention word processing), schools are finally phasing out instruction in cursive writing.
Fun fact #2: In a very recent non-scientific study conducted only by me, I concluded that humans are
incapable of reproducing signatures on point-of-sale (POS) terminals that don't draw their sobriety into
question — not that it matters since no one's checking them anyway. And since no one's
checking them, signatures are not a reliable source of identification, and they are completely useless in
preventing lost-and-stolen card fraud.
EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, a global
standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit cards (IC cards or "chip cards") and IC card
capable point of sale (POS) terminals and automated teller machines (ATMs), for authenticating
credit and debit card transactions.
embeds computer chips in hands to store Bitcoin. A Dutch entrepreneur has had two
wireless computer chips implanted under the skin in his hands to allow him to store digital
currencies like Bitcoin inside his body. Martijn Wismeijer is the founder of Mr Bitcoin, a company
which installs and operates crypto-currency cash machines in and around his native Amsterdam and
across Europe. This month he chose to undergo a painful procedure to embed NFC (near-field
communication) chips under his skin.
Obama order aims to combat identity theft, data breaches. President Obama signed an executive order on
Friday [10/17/2014] designed to increase Americans' financial security and strengthen protections against identity
theft. The new "BuySecure" initiative is an attempt to expedite the transition away from debit and credit cards
with magnetic strips, a dated technology that's more vulnerable to intrusion, and toward cards with microchips and
PIN numbers, which are considered more secure. Under the order, starting next year, all government-issued cards
will make use of the newer technology.
The Editor says...
Once the federal government standardizes a practice of this seemingly innocuous sort, it soon becomes a federal
mandate for private businesses. Mr. Obama is merely getting the ball rolling. Not by signing a law
passed by Congress of course, just an exercise of his own authoritarian power. The RFID chips are in the
cards for now, but I suspect that when this system is shown to be inadequate, the RFID chip will have to be
in your hand or you forehead. Notice also that any action the government does not want you to notice is
taken on Friday afternoons.
Is there a
microchip implant in your future? You can inject one under your skin and no one will ever notice.
Using short-range radio frequency identification (RFID) signals, it can transmit your identity as you pass through
a security checkpoint or walk into a football stadium. It can help you buy groceries at Wal-Mart. In
a worst-case scenario — if you are kidnapped in a foreign country, for example — it could save
your life. Microchip implants like the ones pet owners use to track their dogs and cats could become commonplace
in humans in the next decade.
Obama plan calls for implanted computer chips to help U.S. troops heal. When President
Obama on Tuesday [8/26/2014] highlighted 19 executive actions he says he is taking to improve the mental health
of U.S. troops and veterans, one of them centered on a particularly novel effort: The development of
new computer chips designed to modulate the nervous system to help with everything from arthritis to
post-traumatic stress. The project is headed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a
Pentagon agency that develops a variety of high-tech equipment for the U.S. military. It's known as
the Electrical Prescriptions program, or ElectRx (pronounced "electrics").
Pushing "Cashless Society" to Control Humanity. Proponents of the government-enforced
move away from physical currency cite a wide array of potential real and imagined benefits. Among
them: possible reductions in armed robbery, tax evasion, black-market commerce, the cost of printing
and securing physical cash, and more. Critics, though, are warning of the dangerous and Orwellian
schemes that could be unleashed in a world where out-of-control governments can monitor literally
every purchase, transaction, and bit of economic activity. In light of the recently exposed NSA
snooping scandal, the possibilities for abuse and total surveillance are more than hypothetical, obviously.
Contactless Credit Cards causing increase
in crime. Tap-and-go credit cards contributing to increase in crime stats, Victoria
[Australia] Police say. Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said the number of deceptions, including when
thieves fraudulently use other people's credit cards, has increased by 11,600 and impacted on
overall crime rates. "One of the main drivers over the last little while have been deceptions
and these tap-and-go (credit) cards."
Microchip Implants in Humans Become Mandatory? [If Mac Slavo's] vision of tomorrow is correct,
hardly anyone will have to be dragged kicking and screaming by jack-booted storm troopers (or robots?) into
that Brave New World; rather, most people will willingly be chipped as we slouch toward Oceania. In fact,
the movement is already in progress. [...] There is precedent for acceptance of such intrusion; after all,
your cellphone has an RFID chip and can be used to track your every movement, and its camera can be remotely
activated by authorities. And we all have Social Security numbers.
New Disney RFID Bracelet to Allow Park Mascots to Greet Your Child By Name. Frankly, Disney creeps me out, and my research
affirms that those feelings are not at all misplaced. When I saw that one of the new capabilities of Disney's ever-so-magical RFID
bracelet program was to allow the middle-aged guy with no background check who dresses like Goofy and wonders the park greeting kids all
day to know people's children by name, I thought this definitely requires a report.
Antonio Officials Re-Admit Expelled High School Student After Ending RFID Tracking Program. School officials with the Northside Independent
School District have agreed to re-admit Andrea Hernandez to John Jay High School's Science and Engineering Academy. Hernandez, who will resume her
studies at John Jay as a high school junior when school convenes on Monday, Aug. 26, was expelled from the magnet school program after raising
religious freedom and privacy objections to NISD's "Student Locator Project," which relied on RFID tracking badges to enable school officials to track
students' location on school property.
Is It Possible That Snowden Is A Hero?
Even those who do not use the Internet or have a computer are having all their data and information collected by the government as well as political
marketers. Every swipe of a credit card, supermarket card, library card, debit card, is downloaded to the Net at relatively low cost to the
government. GPS in cars and smartphones, Onstar vehicles, can have their locations tracked by the Department of Defense which developed this
technology. Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags can be used to track everything from household products, casino chips, animals and even
people who have them inserted under the skin at fancy VIP club to facilitate faster access to club. These RFIDs are in our passports.
Authorities can place GPS devices on suspect vehicles without court orders thanks to the Patriot Act. This is not fiction. It is real
and it is happening to all of us now.
When a car salesman tells you keyless entry is safe, ask about this:
Thieves Use New Gadget To Gain Keyless Access To Vehicles In Long Beach. Police are asking for the public's help in
identifying three tech-savvy criminals wanted for a series of car burglaries in which they used an unknown device to gain keyless
entry to vehicles.
RFID used to track school students. A court challenge has
delayed plans to expel a Texan student for refusing to wear a radio tag that tracked her movements. Religious reasons led Andrea
Hernandez to stop wearing the tag that revealed where she was on her school campus. The tags were introduced to track students and
help tighten control of school funding.
More on suspended student refusing to wear tracking device. The district
attempted to paint this "students-as-livestock/prisoners" effort as being there for the safety of students and staff. But
underneath all the "safety" talk was a large pile of money that the school district hoped to pocket. The so-called "Student
Locator" project Texas' Northside Independent School District was implementing put school officials within handout distance of
nearly $1.7 million in state government funds.
school district to require students to wear RFID chip whil [sic] on campus. A school district in San Antonio, Texas is requiring
middle and high school students to wear a "tracking" chip while on campus. And not just a passive RFID (Radio-frequency identification) chip,
these second generation RFID chips include a battery that transmits a radio signal for constant location monitoring of the students.
District spokesman Pascual Gonzalez said, "Chip readers on campuses and on school buses can detect a student's location but can't track
them once they leave school property. Only authorized administrative officials will have access to the information."
The Editor says...
First of all, the story above defies logic: If the school buses have RFID tag readers, "but can't track them once they leave school property", that
means the buses never leave school property. Not likely. Second, active RFID tags can be tracked wherever there is a compatible
reader. The reader can be the property of the school district, or the police, an identity thief, a stalker, or a child molester.
Wear radio chip or leave, school tells students.
Brushing aside privacy concerns by parents and civil rights activists, a Texas school district has gone live with a controversial program requiring all
students to wear a locator radio chip that will enable officials to track their every move — or face expulsion. At the beginning
of the school year students at John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School within the Northside Independent School District were told their old
student ID badges were no longer valid. During registration they were required to obtain new badges containing a radio frequency identification
Student Expelled for Refusing Location Tracking
RFID Badge. After months of protesting a policy requiring high school students to wear an RFID-enabled ID badge around their necks at all
times, Andrea Hernandez is being involuntarily withdrawn from John Jay High School in San Antonio effective November 26th, according to a letter
sent by the district that has now been made public. The letter, sent on November 13, informs her father that the Smart ID program, which was
phased in with the new school year, is now in "full implementation" and requires all students to comply by wearing the location-tracking badges.
Spying on school kids. School districts
in Texas are using tracking chips to spy on students. That's just fine with a federal judge who ruled Tuesday [1/8/2013] against Andrea
Hernandez, a 15-year-old high school sophomore in San Antonio. With the help of the Rutherford Institute, Miss Hernandez and her father
filed a lawsuit arguing the creepy "student locator project" violated her constitutional rights.
Endorse Texas Student's Refusal to Wear Tracking Device. In September, two San Antonio schools began requiring their 4,000
students to wear ID badges containing radio frequency identification chips that transmit 24/7. Hernandez refused, citing her religious
beliefs and right to privacy. The school threatened expulsion. So she sued. Hernandez refused even to wear a card lacking a
chip and battery, though school staff offered her that option twice, her principal said. Wearing it would imply she endorsed the badges,
her father said. The sophomore has been wearing her old ID around her neck, instead.
USDA Wants RFID Tracking Technology To Be Mandatory
In US Food Stamp Program. The USDA is now considering biometric identification for all individuals who will want to benefit from their Food and Nutrition
Services. The RFID chip may just soon be a must for everyone who does not want to starve!
Texas Students Revolt Against Mandatory RFID Tracking Chips.
Students and parents at two San Antonio schools are in revolt over a program that forces kids to wear RFID tracking name tags which are used to pinpoint their location on
campus as well as outside school premises. Students at John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School will be mandated to wear the tags from today which will be
used to track them on campus as well as when they enter and leave school.
barcode' could make society more organized, but invades privacy, civil liberties. Would you barcode your baby?
Microchip implants have become standard practice for our pets, but have been a tougher sell when it comes to the idea of putting
them in people. Science fiction author Elizabeth Moon last week rekindled the debate on whether it's a good idea to "barcode"
infants at birth in an interview on a BBC radio program.
Plans to Add RFID Chips to School IDs. Depending on your point of view, RFID technology is either stuff of
dystopian fantasy come to life, or a long-overdue improvement made possible by technology. Students at the Northside
Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas will have plenty of opportunities to decide this issue for themselves as
the officials roll out a plan to embed a Radio Frequency Identification System chip into student ID cards in order to
track their location throughout the day.
Concerned About RFID Tags? You Should Be. Stores are not the
only organizations to use RFIDs. Many libraries today are also using them as a way to manage their inventory. RFID systems
have already replaced traditional checkout systems in a number of libraries in California, Oregon, and Nevada. Once again this
raises serious concerns with privacy advocates. When a book is entered into the collection, it is given a second static ID
number. Because the number never changes, a person or organization can use that ID to track the movements of certain books.
This technique, called "hotlisting", when combined with traditional methods such as video surveillance, can be used to link together
persons of the same group or disposition. Many believe that law enforcement agencies could easily abuse this method if RFIDs
become more prevalent.
Legal Battle May Disallow Publication on Cracked RFID Chip. Researchers
from the Dutch Radboud University have cracked and cloned London's Oyster travel card, after cracking the Dutch Mifare Travel card.
The latter would be used in a nationwide network for billing of public transportation. Both cards use the Mifare Classic RFID
tags, which relies for its security on an algorithm that can be cracked with modest effort. The troubled card provides for
contact-less entrance to public transportations and office buildings worldwide. The manufacturer of the chip, NXP, follows
Dutch secretary of state Tineke Huizinga in claiming that publication of the results is irresponsible.
could be 'robbed by radiowave' thanks to new contactless technology. Millions of credit and debit card users could be
'robbed by radiowave' because of new contactless technology being brought in by banks. Almost 20 million shoppers are now
able to buy goods by simply waving their card in front of a reader at the tills, even if it is still in a wallet or a purse.
Cattle are tagged for the benefit of the farmer, not the cows.
Brother' plan to fight obesity in children by tracking students with electronic tags. Parents
and civil rights activists are furious at the new program that will allow school administrators to monitor the
heart rates, exercise, and sleep schedules of students using electronic bracelets. A school district in
Long Island, New York, announced that it would be the latest addition to the list of schools using the technology
to help track students' activity and fight obesity. Unanswered questions — including which
students will wear the devices, for how long, and the purpose of the gathered data — have parents
concerned about the level to which the program will invade their children's privacy.
on fat kids. A group of Long Island students will soon be wearing controversial electronic
monitors that allow school officials to track their physical activity around the clock. The athletics chair
for the Bay Shore schools ordered 10 Polar Active monitors, at $90 a pop, for use starting this spring. The
wristwatchlike devices count heartbeats, detect motion and even track students' sleeping habits in a bid to
NY Schools Spy on Fat Kids.
Big Brother wants your kids to lose weight and be healthier. A school district on Long Island, New York
is requiring a group of overweight and obese kids to wear electronic bracelets that monitor where they are and
what they're doing at all times, especially if they're not active or exercising.
black hole of Britain! One family, the Smiths, were baffled when their heating, shower, doorbell and
even their cars' remote door locks refused to work and they discovered similar problems were being experienced by
their neighbours in Kingsclere. They spent much of the festive season without heating and lights after the failure
of household systems that rely on digital technology, specifically radio-frequency identification (RFID).
tattoo has medical, gaming, spy uses. A hair-thin electronic patch that adheres to the skin like
a temporary tattoo could transform medical sensing, computer gaming and even spy operations, according to a US
study published Thursday. The micro-electronics technology, called an epidermal electronic system (EES),
was developed by an international team of researchers from the United States, China and Singapore, and is
described in the journal Science.
Get Dubious RFID Tracking Chips Implanted In Their Arms. Companies selling these chips to scared
citizens are promising that they will help rescuers track them down in the event of a kidnapping. The
chip, implanted in the tissue between the shoulder and elbow, sends a signal to an GPS device that the wearer
carries. But Xega, the company that manufactures many of the chips, says that they can track clients
even without the GPS unit, by sending radio signals directly to the implanted chip. This claim seems
very unlikely to be true.
steal the hotel towels... they're electronically tagged. The days of hotel guests helping
themselves to towels and robes when they check out could be a thing of the past as high tech gets in to
the linen. One company has come up with a way of adding miniature tags in the expensive materials
which were costing hotel managements a fortune to constantly replace.
for dinner: Edible RFID tags describe your food. For tracking, radio frequency identification
(RFID) chips are the greatest thing since sliced bread. But what if the RFID chip was actually in the
Technological Advancements: A Path To Freedom
Or a Path To Serfdom. GPS is being used in many business now to track employees, in the scope of
the fact that it is a private business and the end result is only related to said business, that may be
permissible. When a Government Body starts to track a private citizen we move into a whole new arena.
Risks of RFID car keys. Back in the
good old days, if you happened to leave your key in your car, a potential thief still had to 1) know it was there
and 2) locate it in order for it to do him or her any good. No more. Now thanks to handy dandy
RFID technology the thief can steal the car first and then search for the key after. And, of course, finding
a car whose owner has left a key in it somewhere is a simple matter of making a pinging device.
Any mass-produced security system can be hacked or bypassed.
How Hackers Can Use Smart
Keys To Steal Cars. Modern smart keys use radio frequencies to let drivers unlock and start a
vehicle without fumbling with a key fob. Now European researchers have found such systems can be hacked,
letting thieves easily steal your car. ... The research by the team from the Swiss Federal Institute of
Technology targeted a new weakness; the smart key fobs common on luxury vehicles and spreading to mainstream
models that allow a driver to unlock doors and start a vehicle without touching the fob. Using radio
signals, the fob and vehicle send encrypted signals to each other over short distances, and while other
researchers had suggested the fobs could be vulnerable, no one had put the idea to a test.
Implanting RFID tags in U.S. passports makes
stealing personal data easier than ever. In January 2006, the Dutch security firm Riscure …
using a personal computer and a commercially available radio receiver … was able to read the digital
information of a prototype Dutch e-passport (which uses the same RFID chip and encryption scheme as the new U.S.
passports) from a distance of about 30 centimeters. With that information, Riscure cracked the
e-passport's password in roughly two hours and thus gained full access to the RFID chip's contents, including
a digital picture, fingerprint, and other personal information.
are a front to implement biometric chips. You might of heard that the TSA scanners at US airports
are a front because the guy that owns part of the company also makes the rules. If you dont know who this
is then dont worry, that is not the story. The same guy also claims that the TSA scanners are just a front
to implement them in schools and make people used to the idea, they would rather choose the machines than being
molested by TSA agents. Their plan is to see a machine in every school, shopping mall and public building.
Just about everywhere.
about the TSA's abusive and invasive searches.
RFID passport card privacy
threat debated. A passport card set to be issued by the State Department for travel to Canada, Mexico and the
Caribbean doesn't require privacy protection, even though it uses a radio frequency identification chip which can be read
from 20 feet away, because the chip itself doesn't contain personal information, according to the director of the
National Institute of Standards and Technology.
of RFID Tags for Consumer Privacy. The impending ubiquity of RFID tags
poses a potentially
widespread threat to consumer privacy. The simplest RFID tag will broadcast its ID serial
number — that is, its electronic product code (EPC) — to any nearby reader. The
ID number, as envisioned by the AutoID Center, is unique to a given tag. It contains
not only the traditional information contained in a printed barcode (indicating manufacturer and product
type), but also a unique serial number for that tag. Each consumer product or item of clothing will
be uniquely identified.
lawyers put kibosh on 'Mythbusters' RFID episode? At a recent conference — it's not
clear which one — Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage was asked why the show hasn't tackled the
technology behind the security limitations of RFID. His eyes lighting up at the chance to talk about
something that clearly was a memorable experience for him, Savage said the show had actually set out to do
an episode on the vulnerabilities of RFID but encountered some very powerful resistance.
Feds Release Pass Card details. The
government has dragged its feet in releasing the final details about its Pass Card technology, and now they
dump it into the Federal Register on the last day of the year. The government has decided to go with a
technology that is more suited to tracking inventory and can be read from up to 20 feet away.
passport card privacy threat debated. A passport card set to be issued by the State Department
for travel to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean doesn't require privacy protection, even though it uses a radio
frequency identification chip which can be read from 20 feet away, because the chip itself doesn't contain
personal information, according to the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
NIST director William Jeffrey said that because the RFID chips will only contain a unique reference number
which points to a database entry, the passport cards don't need to be encrypted or to have other safeguards
for protecting personal information.
Report Tempers RFID Fears. Those
who understand the benefits of RFID are aware of its potential for abuse
Most seek to require retailers
to deactivate tags at the time of purchase. They are also urging manufacturers to embed tags in the
packaging instead of in the products themselves. The RFID industry and users have endorsed both
RFID Guardian. Apparently someone
in the Netherlands has developed a prototype device which can
- Detect all RFID chips and scanners in its neighborhood;
- Block the reading of any RFID you carry;
- Spoof a given RFID.
Alarm over shopping radio
tags. Supermarkets have already brought everything under the sun under one roof, and
along the way been accused of denuding the High Street of butcher, baker and candlestick-maker. Now
they are introducing a new technology that some say threatens a fundamental invasion of our privacy.
aims to slow RFID in its tracks. Prompted by worries that developing technologies that use
radio waves to identify both physical objects and human beings are gaining popularity in big businesses
such as Wal-Mart, [New Hampshire] House and Senate members have collaborated on the language for what
could be the model for legislation of its kind in the nation.
EPIC's web page about RFID Systems. RFID tags come
in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some tags are easy to spot, such as the hard plastic anti-theft
tags attached to merchandise in stores. Animal tracking tags which are implanted beneath the skin of
family pets or endangered species are no bigger than a small section of pencil lead. Even smaller tags
have been developed to be embedded within the fibers of a national currency. While barcodes have
historically been the primary means of tracking products, RFID systems are rapidly becoming the preferred
technology for keeping tabs on people, pets, products, and even vehicles.
What is RFID? RFID stands for Radio
Frequency IDentification, a technology that uses tiny computer chips smaller than a grain of sand to track
items at a distance. RFID "spy chips" have been hidden in the packaging of Gillette razor products and
in other products you might buy at a local Wal-Mart, Target, or Tesco and they are already being used to spy
device on bins ensures residents chip in. Bin Brother is watching you. When Randwick City
Council began replacing its 78,000 residential garbage and recycling bins last month, a resident, Dan
Himbrechts, scratched his head. Why get rid of old ones that seemed to work perfectly well? His
suspicions grew further when he noticed a small, flat, circular object hidden under the rim of his new
bin. About the size of a 10-cent coin, it had the letters "TI-RFid" embossed on it.
officials] say they are using the data to help identify areas where people are not recycling enough.
The Editor asks...
What happens to the people who don't recycle enough?
recycling bins with tracking chips coming to Alexandria. Alexandria residents soon will have to
pay for larger home recycling bins featuring built-in monitoring devices. The City Council added a
mandatory $9 charge to its residents' annual waste collection fee. That cash — roughly
$180,000 collected from 19,000 residents — will pay for new larger recycling carts equipped with
computer microchips, which will allow the city to keep tabs on its bins and track resident participation in
the city's recycling program.
China raises the red tag. RFID
tags aren't just for tracking consumer goods any more. The Chinese Communist Party is experimenting with tagging and
tracking people. Delegates to the recent Communist Party Congress were required to wear an RFID badge equipped with
the tiny tag, which permitted their movements around the conference to be constantly tracked and recorded.
Hacker RFID Demo Killed by Corporate Lawsuit
Threat. It's a new take on an old story. Security researcher wants to demonstrate longstanding
vulnerablities in a product. Product's owner gets mad and threatens to sue before the presentation.
Presentation gets cancelled. This go around security researchers at IO Active wanted to show security
professionals at the Black Hat conference in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday how easy it was to create a way to
clone building entrance cards sold by HID Corporation.
RFID and Privacy. If "live" unique RFID devices pass beyond
the point of sale and are carried out into the consumer's world, they pose a strong threat to privacy. The unique ID
in a garment or a car could be read silently by any organization and associated with an individual, allowing subsequent
re-identification by that organization (or indeed by any other organization to which the data was sold). The
organization doing the surveillance need not be the manufacturer or retailer. As readers cost as little as $20, a
hobbyist snoop or private investigator could even set one up near a doorway to record people who revisit an area.
RFID: the next serious
threat to privacy. RFID's usage is currently undergoing a revolution, being incorporated into everything from
automobile keys to product packaging to passports. With this deployment, though, have come great concerns about the
technology's effect on the privacy.
RFID Viruses and Worms. Up until now, everyone working on RFID
technology has tacitly assumed that the mere act of scanning an RFID tag cannot modify back-end software, and certainly not
in a malicious way. Unfortunately, they are wrong. In our research, we have discovered that if certain
vulnerabilities exist in the RFID software, an RFID tag can be (intentionally) infected with a virus and this virus
can infect the backend database used by the RFID software.
This article was published in January 2003, hence the reference to John Poindexter.
RFID tags: Big Brother in small packages.
The privacy threat comes when RFID tags remain active once you leave a store. That's the scenario that should
raise alarms — and currently the RFID industry seems to be giving mixed signals about whether the tags will be
disabled or left enabled by default. In an interview with News.com's Gilbert
President Dick Cantwell said that its RFID tags would be disabled at the cash register only if the consumer
chooses to "opt out" and asks for the tags to be turned off. "The protocol for the tag is that it has
built in opt-out function for the retailer, manufacturer, consumer," Cantwell said. Wal-Mart, on the
other hand, says that's not the case.
VeriChip Launches IPO.
Although the provider of human-implantable RFID chips scaled back the size of its IPO, demand for the company's
stock seemed fairly strong, with more than 2 million shares trading hands.
Company Omits Salient Risks from IPO Disclosure. VeriChip Corporation, the much-hated
purveyor of the VeriChip human ID implant, is airing its dirty laundry this week. This is not
by choice, mind you, but because the Securities and Exchange Commission required the company to
disclose its "risk factors" prior to launching its initial public offering of stock (IPO)
VeriChip Personal Identification System is a small radio frequency identification
device (RFID) that is implanted into the human body. VeriChip raises the same privacy
issues as RFID tags. For an initial "chipping" fee, as well as a monthly subscription
fee, customers' arms are implanted with a glass chip about the size of a grain of rice,
containing a unique verification number.
Linked to Animal Tumors. When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved implanting microchips
in humans, the manufacturer said it would save lives, letting doctors scan the tiny transponders to access
patients' medical records almost instantly.
But neither the company nor the regulators publicly
mentioned this: A series of veterinary and toxicology studies, dating to the mid-1990s, stated
that chip implants had "induced" malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats.
Watching You. It looks like RFID is about to come of age. In fact, with the
level of backing that MIT's RFID program the Auto-ID Center now has, it could soon be as
ubiquitous as money. Sun Microsystems is the latest to announce its support, joining
other big brand names such as Procter and Gamble, Gillette, International Paper, Wal-Mart and
Tesco. Together this industry co-operative aims to help build wireless digital identification
tags into everything, from razor blades to magazines to pharmaceuticals to milk cartons.
Kodak's RFID Moment: The
company recently filed a patent for a digestible radio frequency identification tag, which would monitor the
ingestion of medicine, but Kodak won't divulge its commercial intentions.
W.Va. Coal Mine Tests to Locate Workers
During Emergencies. The company is using active 2.4 GHz RFID tags to pinpoint miners working
in a 3.5-mile series of tunnels.
In an Academic Study, RFID Fractal Antenna
Wins Out. Researchers at Finland's Tampere University of Technology found that a fractal UHF RFID
handheld reader antenna performed better than four traditional antenna designs.
Electronic Accountability System Uses
RF Technology. An electronic accountability system developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will
result in savings of more than $2 million per year at one federal facility alone and will ensure
100 percent accountability of employees.
RFID tracking: The article [above]
… claims (among other things) safety benefits from knowing the locations of all employees during
an emergency (of some kind that miraculously manages not to knock out any part of the tracking computers or
their sensor network, or to damage anyone's RFID).
RFID Tags: Radio Frequency
Identification (RFID) is the generic term used to describe technologies using radio waves to automatically
identify people or objects. We need to be aware of the privacy implications of this technology as its use
becomes more widespread.
Forced Human RFID Chipping. Civil libertarians cheered yesterday [5/30/2006] upon
news that Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed a law making it a crime to require an individual
to be implanted with a microchip. Activists and authors Katherine Albrecht and
Liz McIntyre joined the celebration, predicting this move will spell trouble for the VeriChip
Corporation, maker of the VeriChip human microchip implant.
UK considers RFID tags
for prisoners. The UK government is considering implanting prisoners with RFID tags containing
data on identity, address and criminal record. The RFID tags, about the size of two grains of rice,
would be injected under the skin and could be scanned by a reader. There are also proposals to link
the RFID tags to a larger GPS device to monitor the location of high risk prisoners.
Watchdogs Demand Recall of Spychipped Credit Cards. Consumer watchdog group CASPIAN
is demanding a recall of millions of RFID-equipped contactless credit cards in light of serious
security flaws reported today [10/23/2006] in the New York Times. The paper reports that a
team of security researchers has found that virtually every one of these cards tested is vulnerable
to unauthorized charges and puts consumers at risk for identity theft.
billions to RFID. Wal-Mart plans to spend $3 billion over the next few years on
a new inventory tracking technology that uses radio frequency signals to keep tabs on merchandise,
sources familiar with the project said. The system is based on a technology known as radio
frequency identification (RFID), a new breed of computer network designed to track the location of
everyday objects such as razors and shoes by embedding them with special microchips. Wal-Mart
has enlisted its top 100 merchandise suppliers to participate in the high-profile project, which
is one of the first and largest of its kind in the retail industry.
Water vending machine uses RFID to
track bottles. The new Aquaduct system, designed by S2C Global to deliver recyclable,
five-gallon plastic bottles of water directly to the customer, targets a growing number of consumers
who are time poor, but still have concerns over unhealthy products that damage the environment.
According to the manufacturer, consumers purchase bottled water through outdoor vending machines with
a credit, debit or pre-paid aqua card.
Retailers See RFID's
Potential to Fight Shrinkage. A growing number of retailers are beginning to
see RFID as a tool not only for improved product visibility, but also for preventing product
theft — or, at least, for reducing the negative impacts of product shrinkage.
RFID Helps Car Wash
Customers Cruise Through Lines. Car-wash operator Cruz Thru Express is employing
an RFID system it designed itself to automate the way it provides services to its customers. ... After
trying both bar-coded labels and license-plate recognition, Cruz Thru Express adopted a system last
year using passive EPC Gen 2 RFID tags.
'Hardcore' crime teens to be tagged instead of
locked up. Hundreds of Scotland's most serious young offenders will be allowed to stay in their
communities with an electronic tag rather than being locked up.
Privacy Best Practices for Deployment
of RFID Technology. There are many possible applications of RFID that do not pose major privacy
concerns. But to the extent that RFID devices can be linked to personally identifiable information
("PII"), including where such devices facilitate the tracking of an individual's location, RFID raises
important privacy questions.
Old Big Brother Had
a Farm. If only Orwell could get a load of this. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is
promoting a system that would have farm-animal owners and livestock handlers attach microchips or other
ID tags to their furry and feathered charges so they could be monitored throughout their lifetimes by a
centralized computer network.
RFID Meets George
Orwell's Telescreen. British company Ubisense has paired the remote tracking power of Radio
Frequency Identification with a modern-day version of the telescreen from George Orwell's novel 1984.
Ubisense claims that it has developed a way to use RFID tags to track human beings and objects to within
12 inches of their locations and beam a real-time 3-dimensional map of it all to computer screens for
live monitoring of offices, manufacturing facilities, and even retail stores.
Orwell Today compares the world George Orwell described
in "1984" with the world we are living in today.
'could be microchipped like dogs in a decade'. Human beings may be forced to be 'microchipped'
like pet dogs, a shocking official report into the rise of the Big Brother state has warned. The
microchips — which are implanted under the skin — allow the wearer's movements to
be tracked and store personal information about them.
The hands-free way to steal a
credit card: Adam Laurie, an RFID security expert, used the Black Hat DC 2008 conference here,
to demonstrate a new Python script he's working on to read the contents of smart-chip-enabled credit cards.
As part of his presentation Wednesday [2/20/2008], Laurie asked for someone from the audience to volunteer a
smart card. Without taking the card out of the volunteer's wallet, Laurie both read and displayed its
contents on the presentation screen — the person's name, account number, and expiration clearly visible.
Demonstrations like that show the potential misuse of RFID technology in the near future.
RFID hack could crack open 2 billion smart cards. A
student at the University of Virginia has discovered a way to break through the encryption code of RFID chips used in up to
2 billion smart cards used to open doors and board public transportation systems.
RFIDIOt is an open source Python library for exploring RFID
devices, written by Adam Laurie, a freelance security consultant.
Cracked it! Three
million Britons have been issued with the new hi-tech passport, designed to frustrate terrorists and fraudsters.
So why did Steve Boggan and a friendly computer expert find it so easy to break the security codes?
Doubts raised over passport security.
If you have an Australian passport issued in the last year, you may know that it contains a computer chip to
enhance security. The Government says it's the most secure Australian passport ever. But a London
computer expert has raised doubts about its operation and its vulnerability to identity fraud. Using a
new Australian passport, he's easily cracked the security protection of the new computer chip and accessed
information within it.
Biometric Passports not Secure. A security expert has cracked one of the UK's RFID-equipped
passports, stealing personal data from a distance.
Medical Microchips — Risk and
Uncertainty. It is a sad reality that many federal laws result in unintended consequences for the
public which must abide by them. Such has been the fate of the much touted Health Insurance Portability
and Accountability Act (HIPPA), a law so cumbersome it took the Department of Health and Human Services almost
seven years to figure out how to implement it.
need not be paranoid to fear RFID. If this sounds paranoid, take it up
with IBM. The company filed a patent application in 2001 which contemplates using
this wireless snooping technology to track people as they roam through "shopping malls,
airports, train stations, bus stations, elevators, trains, airplanes, rest rooms,
sports arenas, libraries, theaters, museums, etc."
Chips Could Track Car
Plates. A controversial plan to embed RFID chips in license plates in the United Kingdom also
may be coming to the United States, experts told UPI's Wireless World.
Malaysia to embed
car license plates with microchips to combat theft. Malaysia's government, hoping to thwart car
thieves, will embed license plates with microchips containing information about the vehicle and its owner, a
news report said Saturday [12/2/2006]. With the chips in use, officials can scan cars at roadblocks and
identify stolen vehicles, the New Straits Times reported. The "e-plate" chip system is the latest
strategy to prevent car thieves from getting away with their crimes by merely changing the plates, the
[Why would they need roadblocks? Why not scan every car at every major intersection?]
Brit License Plates Get Chipped.
The British government is preparing to test new high-tech license plates containing microchips capable of
transmitting unique vehicle identification numbers and other data to readers more than 300 feet away.
license plates to identify UK vehicles. The UK-based vehicle licence plate manufacturer, Hills
Numberplates Ltd, has chosen long-range RFID tags and readers from Identec Solutions to be embedded in licence
plates that will automatically and reliably identify vehicles in the UK.
RFID ... Powder!? Word has
it Hitachi's latest batch of RFID chips are so small, "you won't even know they're there."
Implantable RFID Need More Volunteers? There hasn't been a whole lot of positive response for
the RFID chip implant business, despite the industry's clamoring for volunteers. For a while there,
VeriChip's controversial implantable RFID (developed to improve the accuracy of surgery and other applications)
dominated headlines. But according to Mobile magazine and other media, VeriChip has sunk a lot of its
own money into making these things -- but people aren't buying.
Security May Drop RFID Plans Entirely. US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told a
House committee hearing today [2/9/2007] that his department is dropping plans for RFID tags. Chertoff
said the technology isn't the solution the Department of Homeland Security needs to keep would-be terrorists
out of the United States, according to reports.
E-Passports Less Reliable Than Traditional
Passports. A document obtained by EPIC from the State Department reveals that 2004 government
tests found passports with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips that are read 27% to 43% less
successfully than the previous Machine Readable Zone technology (two lines of text printed at the bottom of
the first page of a passport).
UK RFID Passport Cracked.
Three million Britons have been issued with the new hi-tech passport, designed to frustrate terrorists and
fraudsters. So why did Steve Boggan and a friendly computer expert find it so easy to break the security
The RFID Hacking Underground:
They can steal your smartcard, lift your passport, jack your car, even clone the chip in your arm. And
you won't feel a thing.
Orwellian eyes. The
EZPass automated highway-toll system used by nine East Coast states, including Virginia, uses an RFID chip
attached to a transponder or Smart Tag on the vehicle's windshield. The chip is read by a small machine
posted at the toll booth and allows drivers to whiz past while the cost is deducted from a debit or credit
card. The RFIDs already are a part of electronic vehicle identification systems used for access to
military bases, airports, gated communities, hospitals, state parks and country clubs.
Boycott Gillette. Hidden cameras in Gillette spy
shelves take mug shots of people who pick up their products! Consumers have asked Gillette to stop
putting RFID "spy chips" in their products, but Gillette has ignored our concerns.
Department of Homeland Security Wants
Beefed up RFID to silently ID people 25 feet away.
Tagging surgical sponges
could prevent medical errors. Putting tiny tracking chips on sponges could help prevent the
objects from being left in patients accidentally after surgery, say U.S. researchers who tested the idea.
Wal-Mart is RFID tagging in
Texas. In addition to violating the call for a moratorium on RFID-tagged items in stores,
Wal-Mart has begun a consumer education campaign that CASPIAN is calling unethical. "Read the FAQs at
the Wal-Mart corporate web site and you'll find plenty of half truths," [Katherine] Albrecht says. "They
call it consumer education, but the omissions and spin make it feel more like a calculated disinformation
Radio Tags to Track Clothing. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to roll out sophisticated
electronic ID tags to track individual pairs of jeans and underwear, the first step in a
system that advocates say better controls inventory but some critics say raises privacy concerns.
Spychipped Levi's Brand Jeans
Hit the U.S.. New information confirms that Levi Strauss & Co. is violating a call for a
moratorium on item-level RFID by spychipping its clothing. What's more, the company is refusing to
disclose the location of its U.S. test.
Albertsons' assets sold to CVS, Supervalue and
investor group. The total value of the sale was about $17.4 billion in cash, stock and assumed
debt. … No word on whether the "preferred" card is going to stick around, but with that price we suspect
they are going to use every trick they can to recoup their investment.
Oakland Requires ID Chips for
Dogs. City officials have drafted an ordinance that requires dog owners to have a rice-sized
I.D. chip implanted in their pets. And those who don't comply could be hit with a fine of $100 for a second
offense and $1,000 for subsequent infractions.
Chip and PIN – Whose goods are you
paying for? The "chip and PIN" system is not automatically synchronized with the rest of the
checkout, and customers may be being charged for the wrong amount on an ongoing basis if the cashier is not
aware to check the receipts for consistency.
California Gov Terminates RFID ID
Bill. On Saturday [10/07/2006], California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed SB 768, the
Identity Information Protection Act of 2006, which would have been the first state bill to address how RFID
technology may be used in identification documents issued by state and local governments and agencies.
Pfizer's RFID Pilot Is the Start of
Something Big. Pfizer, which began shipping RFID-tagged bottles of Viagra for U.S. distribution
last December, is looking to the future use of RFID technology throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain.
As the company approaches the one-year mark of its pilot program, McKesson, HD Smith and other wholesalers
have completed 200,000 authentications of both item- and case-level tags. Of those, only 19 tags were
found to be "dead" after leaving the facility, according to Peggy Staver, director of product integrity at
Storm building over RFID-enabled
passports. As the U.S. government prepares to complete a conversion to the controversial
RFID-based electronic passports, traditional paper-only IDs are still available for a few months to those
listening to the raging debate over security and privacy concerns swirling around the electronic documents.
Here Come the Next-Generation
Passports. The U.S. State Department has begun rolling out "e-passports," new high-tech
documents that bolster border security through identity safeguards. In a dangerous world, upgrading
passports is prudent policy that serves the interests of Americans at home and abroad, but not everyone is
happy with them. E-passports employ the use of radio frequency identification, or RFID.
"Thief-proof" car key cracked. (Already?)
According to an article in The Register, the security on RFID devices used in car keys and petrol pump
payment systems has been broken (the article actually says "Researchers have discovered cryptographic
vulnerabilities in the RFID technology..."
RFID access control tokens widely open to
cloning. Too many systems to itemize here rely on the 'unique ID' of an RFID token to grant access
to a system or building, and, in the case that these tokens are based on 125kHz or 134.2kHz standard tags, many
of them may be vulnerable to relatively simple cloning attacks. … The problem is that many security system
suppliers are integrating industry standard tag readers, and promoting the 'uniqueness' of the tag ID as a
guaranteed certainty when it isn't, and thereby compromising the security of the entire system.
Microchips May Be Added To Passports.
The federal government is planning on embedding microchips in passports this summer. The RFID chips will contain
digital information printed on the passport, including a photograph of the passport user. The State Department
has asked the National Institute of Standards and Technology to test the chips to ensure that hackers cannot read information from
the chip. [REALLY?] In one lab test a powerful chip reader was able to pick up
activity on the chip but not information.
passports are not working. The data on these chips will be readable remotely,
without the bearer knowing. And — again at America's insistence — those
data will not be encrypted, so anybody with a suitable reader, be they official, commercial,
criminal or terrorist, will be able to check a passport holder's details. … Passport
chips are deliberately designed for clandestine remote reading. The ICAO specification refers
quite openly to the idea of a "walk-through" inspection with the person concerned "possibly being unaware
of the operation".
E-Passports. The State Department proposes to enhance the traditional
passport by embedding in it a computer chip carrying personal information. Data
stored on the chip is likely to include the passport holder's name, date, and place of
birth, and a digitized photo. Machines would read the chip when travelers passed
through checkpoints at ports of entry and exit. … The State Department does not plan
to encrypt the data on E-Passports.
Rollout of Chip-Embedded
Passports Begins: The State Department decided to ignore the overwhelming public opposition
to the use of passports containing radio frequency identification (RFID) chips. The first
e-passports are being distributed and the nationwide rollout will occur at the end of the year. … The
new passports and the chip technology pose a serious threat to privacy and security. There remains
the possibility that personal information could be "skimmed" or stolen from a distance using a chip reader.
… The chips could also act as beacons that broadcast travelers' nationality to terrorists.
New UK biometric passports & identity
theft: It would be fairly straightforward for a courier using a standard RFID reader to scan each
passport, in its envelope, as he or she delivers it and hand the details on to an accomplice at some later
time. We know that the encryption has already been broken. So. No need to steal the passport,
no need even to open the envelope containing the passport. All the details taken and no evidence to
ID Chip You Don't Want in Your Passport: If you have a passport, now is the time to renew
it — even if it's not set to expire anytime soon. If you don't have a passport and think
you might need one, now is the time to get it. In many countries, including the United States, passports
will soon be equipped with RFID chips. And you don't want one of these chips in your passport.
Coalition Urges DHS to Reject
Real ID Chip Mandate. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is currently drafting
regulations to implement the REAL ID Act. We, the undersigned individuals and organizations,
have a wide variety of concerns about the proposed REAL ID card and system and we have urged DHS to
establish a standard that provides the greatest possible security at the most reasonable cost while
protecting individual privacy. This letter addresses one of those concerns —the use
of radio frequency identification chips (RFID) as the "machine readable" feature in the card.
MasterCard to begin national rollout of swipeless
RFID cards. After months of testing, MasterCard is preparing for a major national rollout of its
PayPass swipeless RFID credit cards, and expects to have up to 4 million of them in circulation by the end
of the year. … MasterCard and its rivals insist that the new cards are as safe as traditional credit
cards, and often point to the success of ExxonMobil's SpeedPass system as proof.
The Editor says...
SpeedPass? Isn't that the same RFID system that has
been cracked already? Would you carry a
credit card with known vulnerabilities like that?
There has been other RFID spoofing
work that has proven that the action of reading the card makes it more insecure.
Implants: Better Care or Privacy Scare? They're here. They have
FDA approval. But are Americans ready to get chipped? Getting chipped means
having a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip implanted in your body. The
chip — about the size of a large grain of rice — lies dormant until
a special scanner is passed within six inches of the implant. Then it emits a radio
signal that beams a 16-digit number to the scanner.
Are Here. Invented in 1969 and patented in 1973, but only now becoming
commercially and technologically viable, … RFID chips cost up to 50 cents, but prices
are dropping. Once they get to 5 cents each, it will be cost-efficient to put
RFID tags in almost anything that costs more than a dollar.
What IT Departments Need to Look For
When Deploying RFID: Before a company can take full advantage of RFID technology,
an IT department needs to upgrade its infrastructure on a number of levels, including ...
worst thing that ever happened to consumer privacy. RFID employs
a numbering scheme called EPC (for "electronic product code") which can provide a
unique ID for any physical object in the world. The EPC is intended to
replace the UPC bar code used on products today. Unlike the bar code, however,
the EPC goes beyond identifying product categories — it actually assigns
a unique number to every single item that rolls off a manufacturing line. For
example, each pack of cigarettes, individual can of soda, light bulb or package of
razor blades produced would be uniquely identifiable through its own EPC number.
RFID tag privacy concerns: Here are a
few of our concerns and questions about the current media spin about Auto-ID Radio Frequency ID tags.
RFID Surveillance and Privacy: An
investigation of radio-frequency identification, surveillance and privacy issues.
RSA Keeps RFID Private. RSA
Security Inc. will unveil a finished version of its RFID "Blocker Tag" technology that prevents radio-frequency
identification tags from being read.
RFID tag blocker: Because
information stored on RFID tags can be read by anyone, they may pose privacy threats to customers when deployed
in retail environments, and have already triggered a wave of consumer outcry.
RFID zapper: Some hobbyist
has come up with what it takes for a paranoid person to obliterate any RFID tags that might be on
consumer merchandise, or where not expected or wanted.
RFID: Proceed With Caution.
Of course, tracking pallets of goods is one thing. Tracking the consumers who purchase those goods is another.
Big Brother under
the skin. It's 2005 and Big Brother is not watching you; he's under your skin. A
company is implanting Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags in corpses in Mississippi to help
identify the dead in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Homeland Security Wants to Track Spychips in
Moving Cars. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is looking for beefed up RFID technology
that can read government-issued documents from up to 25 feet away, pinpoint pedestrians on street
corners, and glean the identity of people whizzing by in cars at 55 miles per hour.
RFID Going Next? The Jacksonville Suns offer RFID-chip-embedded wristbands for cashless
payments for food and drink at its minor-league ball games. It doesn't only get concession lines
moving faster; a test showed a 10% increase in per-person spending. Another minor-league baseball
team, the Nashville Sounds, deployed the system last month.
Sender: RFID Reduces Errors For Sears. The retailer is using RFID to improve
shipping accuracy and productivity at a merchandise-returns center in Atlanta.
Pinch My Ride. Ignition keys
equipped with RFID chips were supposed to put car thieves out of business. No such luck. But the
insurance companies are completely convinced that cars with RFID keys can't be stolen and the keys can't be
cloned and the locks can't be spoofed. So when your car is stolen, they assume you're to blame.
Security Flaws Revealed in RFID Enabled
Products. Students at Johns Hopkins University have discovered serious security
flaws in the RFID chips which are used to protect cars from theft and prevent fraudulent use of
Speedpass keys. The research shows that even RFID systems considered to be secure remain
vulnerable, which only highlights the need to prioritize anaylsis of privacy and security prior
to implementation of RFID technology. The potential for exploitation of the security
deficiencies serves as a warning to all industries and governments that would hastily assemble
RFID enabled systems in order to identify and/or track people as they cross borders.
Synopsis provided by EPIC.
Be sure to visit Spy Chips dot com.
Elementary school nixes
electronic IDs. Brittan Elementary School, located about 40 miles north of state capital Sacramento, is
shutting off the high-tech student-tracking system because the company supplying it backed out of the deal, the school said
Tuesday [2/15/2005]. The company, called InCom, put a kibosh on the project after some parents and a representative of
the American Civil Liberties Union aired complaints at a school board meeting last week.
Texas, 28,000 Students Test an Electronic Eye. In front of her gated apartment complex, Courtney Payne, a
9-year-old fourth grader
exits a yellow school bus. Moments later, her movement is observed by Alan Bragg, the
local police chief, standing in a windowless control room more than a mile away. Chief Bragg is not using video
surveillance. Rather, he watches an icon on a computer screen. The icon marks the spot on a map where Courtney
got off the bus, and, on a larger level, it represents the latest in the convergence of technology and student security.
RFID Will Help Mommy Find Johnny: Wannado City is helping parents keep better track of their kids with
radio-frequency identification chips embedded in wristbands. The $40 million Fort Lauderdale, Fla., theme park,
which opened in August, issues RFID wristbands to visitors as part of general admission. The wristbands have a
microchip from Texas Instruments Inc. that wirelessly transmits a signal to antennas in reader devices from RF Code Inc.
that are positioned throughout the 140,000-square-foot facility. The system combines passive and active RFID tags and
ID Cards Contain RFIDs. Parents in a northern California public school
district and civil liberties groups are urging a school district to terminate the
mandatory use of Radio Frequency Identification tags by students. A letter was
sent today [2/8/2005] expressing alarm at the Brittan School District's use of mandatory
ID badges that include a RFID device that tracks the students' movements. The
device transmits private information to a computer on campus whenever a student passes under
one of the scanners. The ID badges also include the student's name, photo, grade, school
name, class year and the four-digit school ID number. Students are required to prominently
display the badges by wearing them around the neck at all times.
passports an identity-theft risk? Privacy advocates warn data chips
can be "seen" by anyone with reader.
U.S. Schoolchildren. Houston's Spring Independent School District "is equipping
28,000 students with ID badges containing computer chips that are read when the students get
on and off school buses," reported the November 17 New York Times. "The information
is fed automatically by wireless phone to the police and school administrators." Police
can monitor children from the time they leave home to their arrival on campus.
Editor's Note: If
you think those are the limits of such monitoring, that the monitoring begins when
the kid leaves the house, that the monitoring takes place only on school days, then you
are naïve indeed. If the chips can be read at the school bus stop without
the assistance of the kids, then the chips can be read anywhere in town at any time
of day. And apparently every kid in the school gets such an ID badge, whether
he or she rides the bus or not. Nobody dares to speak out against an idea like
this, because ostensibly "we're doing it for the children" (or) "it's for
Passports go electronic with new
microchip. The US passport is about to go electronic, with a tiny microchip embedded in its
cover. Along with digitized pictures, holograms, security ink, and "ghost" photos — all
security features added since 2002 — the chip is the latest outpost in the battle to outwit
tamperers. But it's also one that worries privacy advocates. The RFID (radio frequency
identification) chip in each passport will contain the same personal data as now appear on the inside
pages — name, date of birth, place of birth, issuing office — and a digitized version
of the photo. But the 64K chip will be read remotely. And there's the rub.
Threats to Privacy and Civil Liberties: RFID tags can be embedded into/onto
objects and documents without the knowledge of the individual who obtains those items. As
radio waves travel easily and silently through fabric, plastic, and other materials, it is
possible to read RFID tags sewn into clothing or affixed to objects contained in purses,
shopping bags, suitcases, and more. [Additionally,] hidden RFID readers have already
been experimentally embedded into floor tiles, woven into carpeting and floor mats, hidden in
doorways, and seamlessly incorporated into retail shelving and counters, making it virtually
impossible for a consumer to know when or if he or she was being "scanned."
Virginia Legislators Not To Put Radio Computer Chip in Driver's Licenses. The
ACLU has urged Virginia not to become the first state in the nation to place
radio frequency identification (RFID) chips in its driver's licenses.
Proposed "Enhanced" Licenses Are Costly to
Security and Privacy. A so-called "enhanced" driver's license or identification card contains more data and
different technology than current licenses and ID cards. Citizenship designations and wireless radio frequency
identification (RFID) technology chips will be added to the cards.
about The Proposed National ID Card.
"Homeland Security" may be used as excuse
for RFID. Facing increasing resistance and concerns about privacy, the United States' largest
food companies and retailers will try to win consumer approval for radio identification devices by portraying
the technology as an essential tool for keeping the nation's food supply safe from terrorists. The
companies are banding together and through an industry association are lobbying to have the Department of
Homeland Security designate radio frequency identification, or RFID, as an antiterrorism technology.
Dustup: A pro-consumer privacy group opposed to tagging products with radio
frequency identification (RFID) chips says it has made its point after discovering a security
hole in the website of the Auto-ID Center, the MIT-based organization working with companies
on industry standards for RFID and electronic product codes (EPCs).
RFID: Tracking everything,
everywhere. Supermarket cards and retail surveillance devices are merely
the opening volley of the marketers' war against consumers. If consumers fail to
oppose these practices now, our long-term prospects may look like something from
a dystopian science fiction novel.
Tags Block RFID Scanners. RFID tags combined with access to commercial
databases could give the government great power to monitor people's interests and
activities. For example… RFID tags in shoes could create a data trail of who wearers
are and where they go.
Mediamatic RFID workshop. "RFID
and The Internet of Things" is a workshop for a maximum of 16 designers and artists who want to learn
more about RFID and its possible (cultural) effects and uses. In this workshop you'll make your own
prototype where the virtual and the real world come together by using RFID tools.
chief: Ask me about potato chips, not RFID chips. We already know that some aging
politicians and bureaucrats are prone to less-than-coherent ramblings about the technological topics that fall
within their job descriptions.
You can imagine what goes through their minds: I really need to
show the public that I get it. The only problem is that it doesn't always work.
Gillette: RFID stands for Radio Frequency IDentification, a technology that
uses tiny computer chips smaller than a grain of sand to track items at a distance. RFID
"spy chips" have been hidden in the packaging of Gillette razor products and in other products
you might buy at a local Wal-Mart, Target, or Tesco - and they are already being used to
spy on people.
Department will use RFID for road nannying. With government
funding [of course] and access to a large swath of radio spectrum, four RFID
developers are starting work on a new generation of products aimed at bringing
greater safety and new wireless applications to U.S. roads. Any system of
this type would require this technology to be built into new vehicles.
Editor's Note: Let me make
a prediction: This system can and will be used to determine the location and the
speed of every car on the highway. And just like air bags, you'll have to pay for
this feature in your new car, whether you want it or not. I further predict it will be
optional at first, and eventually become mandatory — in the interest of "safety",
U.N.'s Universal Postal Union Gears Up
for Large RFID Pilot. Three Middle Eastern countries — Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the
United Arab Emirates — joined together in a three-month pilot earlier this year to test the
suitability of employing radio frequency identification as a tool for measuring the performance of mail
delivery services. The pilot, led by Qatar's General Postal Corp. (Q-Post) and also including Saudi
Post and Emirates Post, leveraged both passive EPC Gen 2 tags and active tags placed on
approximately 3,120 test letters that circulated among the three nations.
York to offer enhanced driver's license. New York drivers can begin applying today for an enhanced
driver's license that will comply with tighter travel controls adopted after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist
attacks. The state becomes the nation's second, after Washington state, to offer licenses that can be
shown at the U.S. border instead of a more expensive passport.
Farmers See 'Mark of the Beast' in
RFID Livestock Tags. A group of community farmers, some of them Amish, are challenging rules
requiring the tagging of livestock with RFID chips, saying the devices are a "mark of the beast."
Michigan and federal authorities say the radio frequency identification devices (RFID) will help monitor
the travels of bovine and other livestock diseases.
Road Tolls Hacked: Hacking the FasTrak
wireless transponders. A researcher claims that toll transponders can be cloned, allowing
drivers to pass for free.
RFID Compliance Monitoring as a
Condition of Federal Supervised Release. Some states have moved to chemically castrating
certain types of sex offenders, while others have considered implementing lifetime GPS monitoring.
And, for the better part of two years, the chipping of convicted sex offenders has lingered in the minds
of concerned citizens and government officials alike, mutually frustrated with the serious inadequacies
of existing sex offender punishment and registration regimes.
Electronic Vehicle Registration Picks Up
Speed. In South Africa, at least 500,000 RFID tags are now being affixed to metal license
plates to automatically identify vehicles and verify they are properly registered. Within the next
two years, 10 million cars in that country are expected to sport electronic license plates.
to keep a watch on your reading habits in public waiting rooms. So the next time you visit your
doctor for your appointment and flip through the pages of the magazines kept in the reception room unknowingly
to kill time you might not be aware of the fact that a watch is being kept on your reading habits using RFID.
Healthcare Reform Objective: Feds Want to Know Your Number. Imagine, if you will, that you are
living in a changed America, or in President Obama's words, an America that begged "re-making." In this
now-changed America, hope is in big government and her closest ally, big science. Now imagine that you and
your spouse give birth to a child in this brave, new America, in a hospital linked by law to the federal citizens
database. Immediately upon your child's birth, a hospital clerk assigns your newborn with a "Unique Health
Identifier" (UHI), a specially coded number, which is then put into a national electronic database, along with your
newborn's fingerprints and any other identifiers the bureaucrats in D.C. have demanded. ... Imagine that it is even
required that your newborn, before leaving the hospital, be fitted with a surgically implanted microchip, the way
babies are now, in many states, required to be vaccinated and blood-typed.
The Editor says...
When people are implanted with RFID chips, where will the chips be placed? I predict they will be in
the hand or in the forehead. Not everyone has hands, but everyone has a forehead. The
insertion of the RFID chip in the forehead or in the hand will leave a visible mark, without
which you will not be able to buy or sell anything. Years of over-reliance on debit cards and ATMs
will lead to a cashless society, and the next step after that is to have all your digital money
reside on your implanted RFID chip. My advice is this:
DO NOT ACCEPT THE MARK ON YOUR
HAND OR FOREHEAD. Life will be tough without it, but eventually you will be
better off for refusing it.
California Students Get Tracking Devices.
California officials are outfitting preschoolers in Contra Costa County with tracking devices they say will save
staff time and money.
surveillance: Blog sites have been buzzing about the National Medical Device Registry, a new office
in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that was created in the Obamacare reconciliation package. Concern
centers on the registry's authority to conduct "postmarket device surveillance activities on implantable medical
devices," including those that feature radio-frequency identification. The word "surveillance" conjures
ominous images of government tracking and reporting. Some have suggested the law lays the groundwork for
compulsory microchip implantation so the state can keep tabs on everyone — for their own good,
Man infects himself with
computer virus. University of Reading researcher Mark Gasson has become the first human known to
be infected by a computer virus. The virus, infecting a chip implanted in Gasson's hand, passed into a
laboratory computer. From there, the infection could have spread into other computer chips found in
building access cards.
Re: Scientist Infects Himself With Computer
Virus. I'd think that for this to be at all possible, it would have to be a very specific
attack against a particular vendor's hardware or RFID communication stack. The idea of an RFID chip
infecting arbitrary equipment is about as believable as the virus Jeff Goldblum used to bring down the alien
mothership in Independence Day.
Totalitarianism -- The Conspiracy to Abolish Cash. For many years figures on the political
fringe, especially on the right, have claimed that the government and its corporate owners want to transform
us into a cashless society. Their warnings about the conspiracy against paper money fell on deaf ears,
primarily because the digitalization of financial transactions seemed more like the result of organic
business trends than the manifestation of some sinister conspiracy. Now, however, those who want to do
away with liquid currency are stepping out of the shadows.
Privacy No More! You may think
this is crazy, but the Green Police are coming to a town near you! I am serious! Many think
the [advertisement] put out by Audi during the 2010 Superbowl is funny and cannot happen here in the United
States — think again; it is happening now! Seriously, your garbage and recyclables are being
monitored (in some cities in the USA) via RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) either put on your garbage
containers/recycling bins or on your garbage bags. Plus, there are people who are called "Green Police"
or the "Eco Police" that can then give you a fine of $25-$100 for not recycling or not recycling
correctly. In other countries in Europe you can go to court if you do not recycle correctly
or not enough — these RFID can even weigh how much garbage is being picked up at each
address and then it is used to see if each address is doing enough to recycle.
The Editor says...
The RFID chip is like a bar code. It can identify the person who has been issued a specific recycle
bin, but the RFID chip is not a scale. The bin can be weighed by the garbage truck easily enough, and
that's how they'll determine if you're not recycling enough. There are numerous ways around this
problem, but I'll leave them to the reader as an exercise. Let's just say I'll never be
accused of recycling too little.
The Editor now has CompTIA RFID+
certification — the industry standard for qualified RFID professionals.
RFID Primer [PDF]
Physics Can Solve Your RFID Puzzle
RF Site Survey Steps
Frequency ranges for RFID-Systems
Jump to Supermarket Discount Cards
Jump to Toll Road RFID Tags
Jump to Other Privacy Issues