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Privacy

From:chafanViews:95Date:2020-09-01

 The use of RFID has engendered considerable controversy and even product boycotts by consumer privacy advocates. Consumer privacy experts Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre are two prominent critics of the "spychip" technology. The two main privacy concerns regarding RFID are:
· Since the owner of an item will not necessarily be aware of the presence of an RFID tag and the tag can be read at a distance without the knowledge of the individual, it becomes possible to gather sensitive data about an individual without consent.
 
· If a tagged item is paid for by credit card or in conjunction with use of a loyalty card, then it would be possible to indirectly deduce the identity of the purchaser by reading the globally unique ID of that item (contained in the RFID tag). This is only true if the person doing the watching also had access to the loyalty card data and the credit card data, and the person with the equipment knows where the purchaser is going to be.
 
Most concerns revolve around the fact that RFID tags affixed to products remain functional even after the products have been purchased and taken home and thus can be used for surveillance and other purposes unrelated to their supply chain inventory functions.
 
The RFID Network argued that these fears are unfounded in the first episode of their syndicated cable TV series by letting RF engineers demonstrate how RFID works.They provided images of RF engineers driving an RFID-enabled van around a building and trying to take an inventory of items inside. They discussed satellite tracking of a passive RFID tag, which is surprising since the maximum range is under 200m.
 
The concerns raised by the above may be addressed in part by use of the Clipped Tag. The Clipped Tag is an RFID tag designed to increase consumer privacy. The Clipped Tag has been suggested by IBM researchers Paul Moskowitz and Guenter Karjoth. After the point of sale, a consumer may tear off a portion of the tag. This allows the transformation of a long-range tag into a proximity tag that still may be read, but only at short range – less than a few inches or centimeters. The modification of the tag may be confirmed visually. The tag may still be used later for returns, recalls, or recycling.
 
However, read range is a function of both the reader and the tag itself. Improvements in technology may increase read ranges for tags. Tags may be read at longer ranges than they are designed for by increasing reader power. The limit on read distance then becomes the signal-to-noise ratio of the signal reflected from the tag back to the reader. Researchers at two security conferences have demonstrated that passive Ultra-HighFID tags normally read at ranges of up to 30 feet, can be read at ranges of 50 to 69 feet using suitable equipment.
 
In January 2004 privacy advocates from CASPIAN and the German privacy group FoeBuD were invited to the METRO Future Store in Germany, where an RFID pilot project was implemented. It was uncovered by accident that METRO "Payback" customer loyalty cards contained RFID tags with customer IDs, a fact that was disclosed neither to customers receiving the cards, nor to this group of privacy advocates. This happened despite assurances by METRO that no customer identification data was tracked and all RFID usage was clearly disclosed.
 
During the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) between the 16th to 18 November 2005, founder of the free software movement, Richard Stallman, protested the use of RFID security cards by covering his card with aluminum foil.
 
In 2004–2005 the Federal Trade Commission staff conducted a workshop and review of RFID privacy concerns and issued a report recommending best practices.
 
RFID was one of the main topics of 2006 Chaos Communication Congress (organized by the Chaos Computer Club in Berlin) and triggered a big press debate. Topics included: electronic passports, Mifare cryptography and the tickets for the FIFA World Cup 2006. Talks showed how the first real world mass application of RFID at the 2006 FIFA Football World Cup worked. Group monochrom staged a special 'Hack RFID' song.