No Privacy Left... RFID - You Wont Hide

By: Michal Lepiarz

RFID solutions allow to control not only certain zones or areas (e.g. border zone, airports), but also enable remote scanning of the embedded and dynamic data, get access to information on the people and their relocations, and can provide control authority (in the sense of access rights to certain zones etc.).

Many countries plan to introduce identity cards, passports and car registration plates with RFID tags. By the end of this year, China wants to issue for its citizens about a billion such identity cards. American passports issued after Oct. 6, 2006 are also equipped with RFID tags. The embedded data (including digital photograph) can be read even over a distance of 20m.

Civil liberties campaigners have criticized the test of anti-theft system based on tiny RFID chips at Tesco store in Cambridge. Anyone picking up Gillette Mach3 razor blades at the store triggered CCTV camera and had his or her picture taken. The second one was taken at the checkout, to compare the pictures of the customer.

Expansion of RFID technology. RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) systems enable data to be transmitted by mobile devices, called tags, that are read by RFID readers. The data is then processed according to the needs of a particular application. There are used several typical frequency ranges: 125 - 134 kHz (LF), 13.56 MHz (HF), and the most popular - 865-952 MHz (UHF) and 2.4 GHz (microwave).
The application areas include transport, supply-chain management, identification of people and animals.
As mentioned, an RFID system consists of identifiers (tags), reader/s and managing (host) computer. There are used two kinds of tags: active and passive. The first ones have to be powered by a battery etc., the second - take the energy needed for operation directly from the reader (as the part of electromagnetic energy emitted by its antenna).


Active tag equipped with battery, mounted on the car license plate, allows to read the data of the car and its owner even over a distance of 500m

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