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<nettime> Could we be tracked by micro RFID tags? (fwd)
Heiko Recktenwald on Sat, 18 Jan 2003 15:05:33 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Could we be tracked by micro RFID tags? (fwd)

Well, it seems privacy is over. 
Or do we not have to care since identity and what we wear are different?


---------- Forwarded message ----------
   RFID tags: Big Brother in small packages
   By Declan McCullagh
   January 13, 2003, 6:26 AM PT

   Could we be constantly tracked through our clothes, shoes or even
   our cash in the future?

   I'm not talking about having a microchip surgically implanted
   beneath your skin, which is what Applied Digital Systems of Palm
   Beach, Fla., would like to do. Nor am I talking about John
   Poindexter's creepy Total Information Awareness spy-veillance
   system, which I wrote about last week.

   Instead, in the future, we could be tracked because we'll be
   wearing, eating and carrying objects that are carefully designed to
   do so.

   The generic name for this technology is RFID, which stands for
   radio frequency identification. RFID tags are miniscule microchips,
   which already have shrunk to half the size of a grain of sand. They
   listen for a radio query and respond by transmitting their unique
   ID code. Most RFID tags have no batteries: They use the power from
   the initial radio signal to transmit their response.

   You should become familiar with RFID technology because you'll be
   hearing much more about it soon. Retailers adore the concept, and
   CNET News.com's own Alorie Gilbert wrote last week about how
   Wal-Mart and the U.K.-based grocery chain Tesco are starting to
   install "smart shelves" with networked RFID readers. In what will
   become the largest test of the technology, consumer goods giant
   Gillette recently said it would purchase 500 million RFID tags from
   Alien Technology of Morgan Hill, Calif.

   Alien Technology won't reveal how it charges for each tag, but
   industry estimates hover around 25 cents. The company does predict
   that in quantities of 1 billion, RFID tags will approach 10 cents
   each, and in lots of 10 billion, the industry's holy grail of 5
   cents a tag.

   It becomes unnervingly easy to imagine a scenario where everything
   you buy that's more expensive than a Snickers will sport RFID tags,
   which typically include a 64-bit unique identifier yielding about
   18 thousand trillion possible values. KSW-Microtec, a German
   company, has invented washable RFID tags designed to be sewn into
   clothing. And according to EE Times, the European central bank is
   considering embedding RFID tags into banknotes by 2005.

   [... remainder snipped and available at
   http://news.com.com/2010-1069-980325.html ...]

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