Can RFID Invade Your Privacy?

by David Lo Teacher Teacher

"RFID in your underpants," said radio talk show host Keith Larson, and the comic accusation has stuck to privacy discussions about radio frequency identification ever since.

As long as RFID tags were kept in the warehouse or distribution center, the public had no immediate need for concern. They were out of sight and out of mind, or underpants. RFID tags and their readers help identify with greater detail, and from a distance, thousands of pallets and cartons. Their use in warehousing is, as such, a no-brainer.

They're no longer confined to the warehouse. They've broken out and are now making their appearances as far afield as groceries and appliance stores, even passports.

Some states are taking this incursion as a serious threat to privacy. California state Sen. Joe Simitian has introduced the Identity Information Protection Act to prohibit the use of RFIDs that can be read remotely, and without a person's knowledge, in all state identity documents, such as drivers' licenses, student IDs and medical cards. According to the newsletter Privacy Journal, other California bills are pending that prevent tagging children and restrict RFID tags on non-state IDs.

The push for RFID comes from a Wal-Mart mandate for RFIDs on goods received from their suppliers, plus another mandate from the U.S. Department of Defense. There is also the enthusiasm of companies like Procter & Gamble, Gillette and U.K.-based supermarket chain Tesco . They see the opportunity for better warehouse inventory control and on-time receiving of goods.

The inlay of the RFID tag holds a code called the Electronic Product Code (EPC), which is a unique number that identifies the specific item tagged. Once the EPC information is retrieved from a reader, it can be associated with dynamic data in a database as to the item’s origin or the date of its production, among other information.

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About David Lo Teacher Freshman   Teacher

15 connections, 0 recommendations, 43 honor points.
Joined APSense since, October 25th, 2017, From Phoenix City in Arizona, United States.

Created on Apr 8th 2018 15:29. Viewed 397 times.


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