As anyone who reads much of my site knows, I'm not a fan of how RFID is being implemented. However, I'm not against the technology itself as it has many practical uses. For example, some hotels have begun putting washable RFID in the towels and bathrobes to keep people from stealing them.
Since the RFID towels have no privacy invading purpose at all and serve deter self-entitled punks who think it's ok to take hotel items, I will offer my tentative support for this. The main concern is feature creep meaning that depending how they implement this, they may also know which towels you used and when. I can't really see the hotels bothering to do so, but if they did, that would be crossing the line big time.
Source: http://intransit.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/11/gee-how-did-that-towel-end-up-in-my-suitcase/ (H/T to The Consumerist for the link)
An RFID tag hidden under a label
One of the many problems of RFID technology is that they can be hacked and used to spread viruses.
The device, which enables him to pass through security doors and activate his mobile phone, is a sophisticated version of ID chips used to tag pets.
In trials, Dr Gasson showed that the chip was able to pass on the computer virus to external control systems.
If other implanted chips had then connected to the system they too would have been corrupted, he said.
Mostly, this hasn't received a lot of attention to date because the computing power of RFID has historically been very low. But as the technology progresses, the consequences of not securing them properly becomes higher and higher.
Tags: RFID, Spychips
Spychips. The truth about what big business wants to do with RFID.
Radio Frequency Identification Tags (RFID) are useful tiny radio transmitters that can be placed on (or in) almost anything. While very useful for tracking animals and keeping inventory in order, there is a stark danger to privacy and freedom if this technology is allowed to be implemented on humans as well.
Not only is there a great interest in using them this way, the technology is being actively developed. If you want to know all there is to know about what companies plan to do with RFID, Spychips by Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre is an excellent resource.
Each hypothetical situation is backed by company brochures, filed patents, and trade show information that shows exactly what companies plan to (and are) doing with RFID. Make sure to get this book and become more informed about why you should cringe the next time they want to put RFID on or in you.
The Hacker's Choice, a non-commercial group of computer security experts, has released a video showing a cloned passport being approved by a security scanner at a Dutch airport. When the reader scans the passport it is revealed to belong to one Elvis Aaron Presley, complete with picture.
RFID is not ready
. Every country that has tried to use it for identification has failed and miserable.
(H/T to slashdot
for the link)
When will people ever learn
The optional license will include a picture and radio frequency identification tag that can be scanned to verify a person's identity. The tag will not contain any personal information – only an assigned number, authorities said.
How reassuring. So they won't be able to take my data from it, but they'll be able to clone it and frame me or just use the unique ID to track me remotely. But they're going to be passing out sleeves that prevent it from being read remotely without your authorization. So if you don't find it bulky and actaully use it, you'll be partially protected until it's time to pull it out to be read or if someone gets a few seconds alone with your wallet to pull it out and clone it.
(H/T to slashdot
for the link)
The website includes very loose information about what makes this chip so "uncloneable"
, but I highly doubt that it's true. An RFID chip is read by radio waves and as long as you can make a chip, computer, or anything else that transmits replicate the signal that the original chip did, you can clone it.
If they mean that you can't make one of these
chips copy the data from another of these
chips, I can see that as being possible, but what difference does that make in the end if I can use a different brand chip to open your secure door
or travel the world in your name
has written has written an article for Scientific American
that everyone should read. For those who don't already know her, she's the leader of CASPIAN
and one of the world's foremost experts on RFID privacy issues.
Here is a mini summary of some of the major points:
- Companies intend to replace barcodes with RFID
- Unlike barcodes which identify a product type (i.e. a can of soda), RFID will identify an INDIVIDUAL product (i.e. can of coke #48377625376)
- RFID tags can be read secretly from long distances (30 or more feet).
- RFID tags in licenses have minimal security (and even passports that have more security have been hacked already many times)
- IBM filed a patent that was granted in 2006 for a system of scanners at “shopping malls, airports, train stations, bus stations, elevators, trains, airplanes, restrooms, sports arenas, libraries, theaters, [and] museums ? to track the movements of people by their RFID tags
- Alton Towers (an English amusement park) issues RFID wristbands to visitors and tracks their movements through the park. While they use it to create a keepsake "where you went" map for their customers, they prove that the system works in practice
RFID misuse has been one of my top issues for a long time and it's important that everyone realize the danger they pose and support preemptive legislation to prevent RFID privacy invasion.
This is hardly surprising
. The wireless toll systems use RFID and there isn't an RFID system yet that hasn't been hacked that I know of. Anyway, by cloning anyone's transponder, you can pass through the tolls while the other sucker pays the bill. Also useful for committing crimes in someone else's name.
(H/T to slashdot
for the link)
So much for "Fakeproof"
. Of course, anyone who knows about RFID and the way they work could see this coming
A great report has just been released by Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering - CASPIAN
. It's 47 pages of frequently asked questions
along with detailed, well researched responses to each.
From their press release:
The report reveals how news outlets like Time Magazine, Business Week, and the RFID Journal were used as unwitting pawns in a VeriChip scheme to spread misinformation about the cancer studies. Since research linking the product to cancer first surfaced last year, each of these publications has repeated misstatements from VeriChip company executives, in many cases printing the inaccurate statements verbatim and unchallenged.
Good thing non-profit companies are watching or else this sort of skulduggery would go unnoticed.