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Sunday, January 29, 2006

RFID Tags & Privacy

Despite initiatives like this, concerns of privacy intrusion owing to RFID technologies abound. At one end views as vitriolic as RFID tag activated bombs exist where some think that given the one way trust nature of the protocols, where the RFID tag betrays vital information to any reader device, promiscuously, there is no reason why terrorists or military opponents could not easily target individuals or groups of individuals with landmines, booby traps etc. based on the RFID tags which are detected on a person e.g. a bomb which only kills rich American or European tourists or singles out military personnel from the local civilian population. The current plans to include contactless RFID chips in, for example, the new USA Biometric Passports, without any encryption at all, will lead to easier automated target reconaissance for terrorists, who will no doubt program a bomb to wait until several US Citizens are within range before detonating itself automatically.
Bruce Schneier points to an excellent cartoon by David Farley on RFID , Privacy Intrusion & Packaging. It says it all.The industry’s response is very limited – they are also struck by the frequency regulations across the globe – but to be fair privacy intrusion are only a limited dampener in the adoption of RFID – Some high voltage showcase success is what the industry needs now – Beijing Olympics may be that –that is a few years away - but obviously lot more needs to come from the western world.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"