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RFID Production to Increase 25 fold by 2010 179

Posted by samzenpus
from the tag-you're-always-it dept.
Luke PiWalker writes "The number of RFID tags produced worldwide is expected to increase more than 25 fold between 2005 and 2010, reaching 33 billion, according to market research company In-Stat. Total production of RFID tags in 2005 reached more than 1.3 billion, according to a recent report. RFID production will vary widely by industry segment for several years -- for example, RFID has been used in automotive keys since 1991, with 150 million units now in use, a quantity that greatly exceeded other segments until recently, according to In-Stat. "By far the biggest RFID segment in coming years will be supply chain management," said Allen Nogee, In-Stat analyst, in a statement. "This segment will account for the largest number of tags/labels from 2005 through 2010." RFID has obvious privacy flaws, why is the world pointed in the direction of RFID?"
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RFID Production to Increase 25 fold by 2010

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  • by BHennessy (639799) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @01:37AM (#14507188)
    that I got in early and made my duct-tape / tinfoil wallet already.
    • but they can still track you by the tag they hid on the outside surface of the tape...
    • There is security in numbers- just think of the information overflow in trying to find records for a single tag in logs of billions of tags passing a given point!
  • by kjh1 (65671) * on Thursday January 19, 2006 @01:43AM (#14507209) Homepage Journal

    I can't help thinking that the average person is still pretty clueless about RFID tags and will still be even when there are 25x as many! Will understanding of RFID tags be similar to that of browser cookies? Will the security implications be blown out of proportion in a similar way? Don't get me wrong, I'm all about computer security, but cookies hardly scare me, and so far, RFID tags don't scare me too much. The counter solution should be pretty simple - get an RFID scanner so you know if there are any 'hidden' ones about.

    • by DrEldarion (114072) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @01:53AM (#14507268)
      But dude! People will be able to tell that you just shopped at The Gap by JUST BEING NEAR YOUR BAG. And if people know that, just WHERE will all your geek-cred go?

      Right out the window, that's where.

      And don't even get me started on all the poor unskilled walmart cashiers that will lose their jobs because a shopping cart will be able to be read accurately and automatically. They might actually have to learn to do something useful with their lives, and damn it, this is America, and they shouldn't have to do that!

    • Get your RFID scanners before the government decides you shouldn't know where they are or what data they contain unless you're a multinational corporation. You know the way Bush has been handling national security they'll be illegal before long (like as soon as RFID appears in passports, beginning of 2007 IIRC). Especially if scanners/readers get popular.
    • by _ph1ux_ (216706) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @03:24AM (#14507598)
      I have one of the most highly polished Tin-Foil-Hats around, but I am not terribly worried about RFID, not the commercially advertised incarnations anyway.

      I work as the IT manager for the largest RFID company in the world. We are *the* supplier of RFID tags and devices to the DoD. With the tags and devices available from my company and others; Matrics, Alien etc.. you needent worry. These tags are too expensive, or also too big and too weak to be of concern to people. (Expensive being the primary gating item to ubiquity)

      However - i would remind people that a cell phone is far more an unknown and exploitable device than the current commercially advertised and known RFID tags.

      RFID is a phenomenon that has been known about for a long time. (as are cell phones which were first proofed in the 40s) and falls into two categories; Active or Passive. Active tags have a battery which powers the antennae - passive tags merely respond to RF waves that pass through them and "reply" with a unique signature.

      Passive tags hold very little data, usually just an ID - or serial number (around 1K-ish - historically). Active tags have memory (256/512K ish) and can hold real data, such as the manifest of a shipping container.

      The data still needs to be read and dealt with in a meaningful way. Passive IDs need to be correlated to a backend DB which equates the ID with some meaningful data, such as a record of what that ID actually represents.

      Active tags are a bit more flexible in that they can provide info which does not necessarily require access to a backed DB in order to understand what the tag is identifying, or what that container holds.

      My company only produces Active tags. These tags are large, expensive and meant for tracking THINGS. Containers specifically - or large cost items, such as a vehicle(parts). Our tags are used on shipping containers and trucks, and pose no threat to personal privacy, unless you dont want people (yourself) to know what you placed inside some container which is being shipped from one port to the next.

      Active tags, backed by batteries, arent just capable of greater range, they are capable of TELLING the reader system about events that occur. For example - we have some tags which have sensors on them. Light, temp. humidity, shock etc. These sensors can be set to alert if they go off or above threshold. This is important when you are concerned about the viability/integrity of the property the tag is "watching". Some medications spoil if exposed to certain temperatures for extended periods of time. The sensor tag can monitor temp then alert if it gets too high for too long. Some munitions automatically ARM themselves if they receive a certain amount of shock. so the tags would warn if a munition is armed, important to know if your going to be moving a box of explosives via crane or forklift.

      Active tags cost between 60 and 85 dollars per tag. Are roughly 4" long and 1" high and 1.5" wide. Active tags run at 433 megahertz and 123 kilohertz (the two frequencies are used for two different functions: reading data from the tag (433) or sending commands to the tag (123)).

      There are some new active tags which are smaller, and run on 802.11 (wifi) frequencies, but there are a great number of challenges in that freq. range.

      Passive tags are a losing proposition for most companies as the manufacturing cost is greater than what the tag can be sold for. Before tags can be ubiquitous in products - they need to be throw-away cheap. some person I dont know said that the magic number for passive tags was .05 (a nickel) - but one thing that hasnt been talked about with regards to the mass use of RFID is the backend databases and logic application required to actually do anything with the data read from tags. This obviously implies the reader infrastructure as well.

      There is a lot of supporting infrastructure required to do anything of interest with RFID - its not just that you deploy a bunch of tags and all of a sudden you c
      • Awesome post ..Thank you! Wish I had mod points for you.

        I do think your tin foil hat loses some luster though given your informed and rational stance on RFID technology/privacy. You're making WAY too much sense to be in the foil 'hood anymore. :)
      • Excellent and informative post. "These tags are too expensive, or also too big and too weak to be of concern to people."

        Today, perhaps. But tomorrow? :"An unusual pool of scientific talent at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, combined with new nanofabrication and nanocharacterization instruments, is helping to open a new frontier in electronics, to be made up of very small and very fast devices [suvalleynews.com]." and ""When the first computer hard disk was introduced 50 years ago, it required a r

      • you needent worry. These tags are too expensive, or also too big and too weak to be of concern to people.

        Well that is a relive as proces will stay the same as does the size with technical things. As there is no problem now, there won't be one in the future. WOW.

        Passive tags hold very little data, usually just an ID - or serial number (around 1K-ish - historically).
        1k is roughly 1000 caracters. I bet it is possible to give a unique ID to each one and link the ID to a database that holds much, much more info
      • I wonder if organized crime (read truck highjackers) will be happy to use this technology.

        No more trucks full of toilet paper or other low dollar things will be jacked.

        Surely they'll now focus on easily fenced, high value shipments.

        Some form of encryption will likely be used in the case of manifests I would imagine.

        Of course that isn't really my concern, just thinking the obvious.

      • If every bottle of alcohol and every package of cigarettes has a rfid tag on it than for starts when they are sold the store than could prove that they were sold. When they are stolen and than found on a person who should not have had access to them then the store that had possession of them should be fined as they have not put enough effort into preventing them from being stolen. I would even go further and require a machine readable id to purchase the products and than if the products get into a minor's
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2006 @01:45AM (#14507220)
    By far the biggest RFID segment in coming years will be supply chain management," said Allen Nogee, In-Stat analyst, in a statement. "This segment will account for the largest number of tags/labels from 2005 through 2010." RFID has obvious privacy flaws, why is the world pointed in the direction of RFID?"


    The first half of this quote concerns pallets in a warehouse, something with no conceivable privacy implications of any kind. The second half of this quite asks how anyone could approve of this given its "obvious privacy flaws".

    Uhhhhhhh... right.

    So let's say I buy a pair of shoes with an RFID tag in them and I don't like this. Never mind I haven't heard of a single shoe manufacturer proposing to do this, let's just say it happens. All I should have to do is run the shoes through the microwave and the RFID tag should fry, right?
    • Ugh. Remind me never to eat anything out of your microwave. MIT's already shown us some of the clandestine cell-phone tracking options available. With all the cameras, phones, retinal scanners, ID cards and genetic fingerprinting available in the coming years, why would they need RFID tags? Hell, windows are a privacy risk. Just don't go outside, speak loudly, or use anything made later than Atari and you should be fine.
    • Not really necessary since any tags used for supply chain purposes are going to be on the box, not in the product. And it's pretty unlikely that they'd be on the box you'd take home. They would probably be on the pallet or carton that gets shipped to the store.
      • Well, given the number of tags proposed by some, they're going to end up in the ecology sooner or later, like Teflon or freon. Given a decade or two, they'll probably be accumulating in polar bear body fat, and innocent infants and the like will be exposed to them from sources like their mothers' milk.
    • The first half of this quote concerns pallets in a warehouse, something with no conceivable privacy implications of any kind. The second half of this quite asks how anyone could approve of this given its "obvious privacy flaws".

      Uhhhhhhh... right.

      I agree with your point. The biggest use of RFID for supply chain management is not going to have any privacy concerns for the general population. The company I am working for are using planning to use it to track the 1 million sacks of produce we manufactur

    • So let's say I buy a pair of shoes with an RFID tag in them and I don't like this. Never mind I haven't heard of a single shoe manufacturer proposing to do this, let's just say it happens. All I should have to do is run the shoes through the microwave and the RFID tag should fry, right?

      I just bought a pair of skis that have RFID tags in them. What do you suggest I do?
      • I would say I suggest you do your research ahead of time if you don't want RFID tags in your skis. See, it's simple: if you don't buy the skis with RFID tags in them then you don't have to worry about RFID tags in your skis. Obviously if enough people don't buy skis with RFID tags in them then the companies that produce said skis will go bankrupt. Freedom in action.
        And if you cannot be bothered to do your research ahead of time, don't expect me to care when you whine about the RFID tags in your skis.
      • Easy: Find a radar station and hold them in front of the radar antenna.
      • Buy a cheap microwave, take the magnetron out and construct your own irradiating chamber. I'm pretty sure they've done this at least once on mythbusters.

        Be sure to get some lead pantaloons on first, though. Just in case.
    • Funny, because the sweaters at J Crew have RFID tags in them. The books at Borders have RFID tags in them. The CDs at Tower have RFID tags in them.
      • The books at Borders have RFID tags in them. The CDs at Tower have RFID tags in them.

        Obviously, this creates justification for copyright infringement! To the torrent trackers I go! You'll not be tracking me right up until the point I open the case and throw the tag away, you godless privacy invaders! Ha-ha!

  • Privacy fatigue (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "RFID has obvious privacy flaws, why is the world pointed in the direction of RFID?"

    Yeah, because that crate of 300 rubber chickens from Shanghai really needs "privacy" as it makes its way from Dock 42 in Seattle to some anonymous Wal-Mart stockroom in Piedmont, Arizona.

    The annoying thing is that when they come for me, there will be plenty of people left to speak up for me, but nobody will be listening. Quit crying "wolf" over every meme that exits the blogosphere, fer Pete's sake.
    • Yeah, because that crate of 300 rubber chickens from Shanghai really needs "privacy" as it makes its way from Dock 42 in Seattle to some anonymous Wal-Mart stockroom in Piedmont, Arizona

      But you'll probably be a lot more interested in privacy when that rubber chicken makes its way from the Wal-Mart stockroom to your bedroom.

  • by 2674 (661934) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @01:48AM (#14507241)
    RFID my Shiny Metal Ass!!!
  • by jasonditz (597385) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @01:50AM (#14507255) Homepage
    Warrantless wiretapping, anti-anonymity laws, calls for heavier regulation of pre-pay cell phone purchases, video cameras on street corners, "free speech zones" where they ask you to show ID.

    RFID is going in the same direction as the rest of the world, which is away from individual privacy vis-a-vis the state and vis-a-vis the large, "trustworthy" corporation
    • oh ffs, RFID is a serial number or a barcode that can be read without line of sight.
      The sky is not falling.
      • RFIDs are not barcodes. They contain enough data to uniquely identify not only every item on the shelf, but every instance of that item. This is the difference between a 12-digit UPC and a 512-byte passive RFID.

        If a sale is made, and you pay with an identifying method, such as a credit or debit card, or even a supermarket affinity card, that particular item is now linked to your identity. This is why the increased data capacity of RFIDs is meaningful.

        And, of course, this means that if a major metropolitan a
        • And a model no. + serial no. DOESN'T uniquely identify an instance of an item somehow?
          Bought a laptop lately? Check the serial no. on the back, it will almost certainly be unique to that laptop.
          There is no real feasible way to do the orwellian thing with RFID in consumer products without some ridiculously huge database and infrastructure as well as cooperation between millions of seperate stores, govt, competing producers etc etc.

          The same FUD was spread when barcode readers and credit cards came into p
          • And a model no. + serial no. DOESN'T uniquely identify an instance of an item somehow? Bought a laptop lately? Check the serial no. on the back, it will almost certainly be unique to that laptop.

            But that's not the same sort of problem. My laptop's serial number is not encoded in any discernible way in my system's software (I wiped the bundled software when I got it); if I walk down the street, my movements cannot be tracked by it. When the laptop is turned off and sitting in its briefcase, it is nontrivial
          • There is no real feasible way to do the orwellian thing with RFID in consumer products without some ridiculously huge database and infrastructure as well as cooperation between millions of seperate stores, govt, competing producers etc etc.

            I belive that IPv6 address space contains enough unique IPs to have something like a million per square metre of the earth's surface. IPv6 is going to be implemented.

            It's simply a question of scaling. Consider the RFID tag to be like a unique IP. Can you locate that ID am
    • Unless you planned on sticking an RFID tag to your forehead and masquerading as a crate/box/skid in the closest loading dock/manufacturing facility/etc then I think you will be ok.
  • Car Keys (Score:2, Interesting)

    by borisborf (906678)
    It will be interesting to see if this drives down the cost of RFID keys for cars (as mentioned in the article). Right now, Chrysler wants a couple hundred bucks for a copy of the key to each of my cars. I cant just head to Walmart and get myself a fifty cent copy.
    • There are two types of RFID: active and passive. Active meaning they have their own power supply to enable them to transmit. Passive is where there is no power supply but the chip is powered by the small amount of power generated by actually being scanned. The small tags that are put in labels and for palets are passive. These are the ones that will be made in the millions and are very cheap.

      Car keys use active RFID so will not be affected much by the mass production.

    • Alright, I'm a [casual] locksmith, so I really shouldn't tell you this, but oh well...

      If you have two original keys, do the following:

      Grab yourself a $12 or so transponder key from eBay [ebay.com].

      Get someone to cut the key. Your local home depot can possibly do this - your local locksmith almost certainly can. I don't know about Wal-Mart.

      Put the first original key in the ignition, turn to on.
      Wait 5 seconds, turn off.
      Very quickly insert the second original key, and turn on.
      Wait 10 seconds for the SKIS indicator ligh
  • by truckaxle (883149) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @01:53AM (#14507270) Homepage
    No bull shit check out these guys putting rfid in cows [magiix.net]. Looks like they check the cows health and if she is in heat!
  • RFID Zapper [events.ccc.de] production set to increase 1000 folds during the same period.

    And that's just because most beople can't afford A real EMP shock generator [amazing1.com]

  • by xiphoris (839465) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @01:55AM (#14507289) Homepage
    Perhaps once it becomes standard that pretty much everything is tagged with RFID, maybe I'll be able to use Google House to find that sock I lost a year ago! I know it's here somewhere...
  • by farmhick (465391) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @01:57AM (#14507297) Homepage
    I wonder if there will be specialty companies that guarantee their products are RFID free. Their shipping containers may use them, since they are the next step for inventory control. But what of smaller companies that would make or sell clothing with no imbedded RFIDs, which are of course all of our concerns?

    Just like there is 'hemp' clothing that seems to be bought as a stand against "The Man", does anyone see 'RDID-free' as a growing market? And if so, how long until they are bought out by the large corporations, and tags start going in?
  • by riprjak (158717) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @02:00AM (#14507316)
    Oh dear; what an alarmist post.

    Yes, granted, RFID does have some privacy implications when applied in P.O.S. applications, hospitals and such like.

    However, AFAIK, by far and above the largest use is in automotive security, logistics and workflow handling. Boxes dont care if people know whats in them, but it sure as shit makes the warehouse easier to manage if your robot/forklift knows what is in those boxes and automagically tracks stock in and out. Even walmart would still use RFID even if they weren't allowed to use it on stock in shop, because the would still use it for shipment and bulk stock management.

    Most of the increased use of RFID will still remain back office, in factories, warehouses and other transit points. Put your tinfoil hats away.

    *IF* the article discussed governments planning to RFID tag humans behind the left ear, then, perhaps, we would have a major issue.

    However, the small number of privacy impacting cases aside, RFID is an incredibly flexible technology. In factory workflow planning, it allows us to remove human error from data logging. The workstation AUTOMATICALLY presents you with the correct fittings for component G because it knows you are assembling component G and not component W. Barcodes dont even come close.

    The inventory management system knows what stock levels you have in the Finished Goods Inventory (FGI) because it has scanned the RFID bearing kanban's as the goods were loaded into the FGI racks.

    Even if EVERY SINGLE application which impacted privacy was disallowed and canned; RFID use would still exponentially increase as people replace laser based barcode systems with RFID because it is more reliable (in a maintenance sense), easier and ultimately cheaper. Furthermore, it allows for far more efficient automated handling systems to be designed because you no longer have the limitation that every box needs to be in a direct line of sight for the scanner.

    So, perhaps, just perhaps, the increased use of RFID *MIGHT* be in aid of improving the efficiency of the manufacturing and logistics industry and *NOT* to track where you take your pr0n. Considering how much whining about offshoring goes on here, you would think productivity technologies might get a better hearing.

    Ah well. Just my Engineers $0.02 AUD
    err!
    jak.
    • Oh dear; what an alarmist post.

      That's the whole idea. Look at the submitter's linked web page.

    • We will lose privacy anyway. Its also information and it will get out when there is enough technology. The good thing is that the tracking technology will also get cheaper which will make the authorities without privacy. We will have the most open government not when the government will open themselves to you, but when they cannot hide from you. You may think that the government is more powerful than the people, but the people have more eyes and given enough eyes and enough interest no secret will be a secr
    • *IF* the article discussed governments planning to RFID tag humans behind the left ear, then, perhaps, we would have a major issue.

      Actually, such an embedded tag would be less informative for spying/tracking purposes than the current future scenario, which is that we will all be carrying around a virtual blizzard of tags in our everyday items. One embedded tag would be easy to spoof/kill/fake/etc., whereas the blizzard is a mark practically impossible to alter.

      Whether this is a major issue is for you t

  • by Belseth (835595) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @02:01AM (#14507317)
    A Walmart was struck with an EMP weapon by terrorist. All RFID tags were wiped out causing chaos. No longer able to track customers purchases the marketing department has applied for disaster relief funds. The White House responded and FEMA was on the scene within the hour to help in the replacement of the lost tags. The President stated that allowing the customers to go untracked was a major victory for the terrorist and the situation must be resolved as quickly as possible. Haliburton is expected to deliver the new tags before the store opens tomorrow. The 50 billion dollar RFID tag replacement program was considered a bargin given the potential loss to the Walmart marketing department.
  • by zjbs14 (549864) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @02:06AM (#14507333) Homepage
    For those who want to understand more about the real-world use of RFID, and not just spout alarmist paranoia, here's a link to EPCglobal [epcglobalinc.org], the standards group that defines RFID tag and data interchange for supply chain applications.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2006 @02:08AM (#14507339)
    I'm a regular poster here, who - ironically enough - is going AC for this post to preserve my privacy.

    "...why is the world pointed in the direction of RFID?"

    Because it is a labor-saving device.
    I own a bookstore. It is the largest independant bookstore in a 3+ million city in the US. Shelving books and keeping track of them is one of my biggest expenses in terms of labor. And it is boring labor. The employees gnerally find it the most unpleasant part of the job aside from cleaning the toilets.

    I can't wait to be able to do inventory by just walking along the isle with a scanner. It will save me many thousands of dollars every year. And the employees will be happier.

    I don't want to intrude on your privacy. I'd be quite happy if RFIDs work only in my store and not in your home. But I'm going to use them because they make my life easier and they will save my money.
    • Here here. It's posts like yours that make me hold out hope that not everyone on Slashdot is a reactionary 14 year old.

      Hats off to you sir, and I hope your eventual RFID roll-out occurs. I would be more then happy to purchase a book from your store =)

    • Yep I agree. I work in a library and hunting for missing books is the worst part of the job (we have a cleaning staff for the toilets :-) ). If every book was RFID tagged, the (already compterised) library catalog wouldn't just say "on the shelves" it could say (for sure) which shelf. And if a book was missing, we'd know before we spent an hour hunting through every shelf.

      So I see RFID a bit like a car. Lots of folk die in car accidents, but for society as a whole the benefits seem to out weigh the probl
    • Ditto. I work in what's called high care food processing - which basically means that if our food isn't sterile when it goes in the pack, it might kill someone. Unfortunately, people don't like to pay very much for food, so our workers are not well paid and the old rule - pay peanuts, get monkeys - applies. If a supervisor isn't looking, all sorts of funny things happen. Workers enter a food processing area and don't wash their hands. Storage baskets are reused without being washed. Controlled items (
  • by Anonymous Coward
    25 fold and 25 times are not the same thing! how could this not be noticed? has slashdot gone that downhill? for the moronic: fold comes from the idea of folding, for example, a piece of paper, you fold it once you have 2, twice you have 4, 3 times you have 8 sections...fold is exponential...duh
    • 25 fold and 25 times are not the same thing! how could this not be noticed? has slashdot gone that downhill? for the moronic: fold comes from the idea of folding, ..fold is exponential.

      Bollocks.

      Oxford Dictionary:
      -fold /fld/ suff. [OE -fald, -feald = OFris., OS -fald (Du. -voud), (O)HG -falt, ON -faldr, Goth -falps, cogn. w. FOLD v.1 and w. Gk -paltos, -plasios, also w. plo- in haplos, and prob. w. L (sim)plex.] Forming adjs. and advs. from cardinal numerals and adjs. meaning 'many' w. the senses 'mult

      • just goes to show that most humans don't really understand the meaning of the words they use.

        I've thought for many years that the use of fold to mean 'multiplied by' was moronic. I understand it's mis-use, but everytime I see it it's annoying.
        • just goes to show that most humans don't really understand the meaning of the words they use.

          I'm not bothered by -fold, after all you can fold something in many ways, not just over and over to double; but "decimate" is another numeric word that is generally used in a way almost inverse to the definition.

  • by joeflies (529536) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @02:18AM (#14507386)
    Did you find that the RFID chip in your car keys is a violation of your privacy? Did you take measures to remove it?

    Do you decline to use your badge to open the building door at work?

    Is it only a violation of privacy when it's used in supply chain management?

  • by Douglas Simmons (628988) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @02:23AM (#14507404) Homepage
    Flash memory is to SanDisk as RFID technology is to ______?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Only N^GSouth Korean Generals need to RFID-tag their troops [slashdot.org].

    They didn't have this problem in Soviet Russia. In Soviet Russia, troops tagged you.
  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mr_zorg (259994) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @02:29AM (#14507432)
    RFID has obvious privacy flaws, why is the world pointed in the direction of RFID?

    Because they handily solve so many pressing problems? Don't blame the technology for its misuse, that's the fault of people. Stores can deactivate RFID tags just as they remove the current crop of anti-theft devices. If they don't, don't shop there!

    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cogg (864885)
      Stores can deactivate RFID tags just as they remove the current crop of anti-theft devices. If they don't, don't shop there!
      The chances are they will. Why pay for two technologies, when you can pay for one. Retailers could use the RFID tag for inventory management and for as anti-theft. If it is used for anti-theft, then it will likely be disabled at the sales counter.
      So if you don't want active RFID tags , don't steal!
  • 33 billion RFID tags huh? TFA indicates the vast majority of these will be used in warehouse tracking and similar tasks in a few technologically aware industries. 33 billion ~= 6 tags for every man woman and child on this planet, 80% of whom will never come within 10^6 times scanning distance of one in their entire life. This is Global News? In a week when James Lovelock is warning us that Gaia is ready to cough up those industries that make and use RFID tags, along with the 4 billion innocent non-users...
  • There are advantages to RFID microchips. It can make it easier for stores to scan items at checkout and do inventory. It could help you find lost items easier (using a reader and walking around with it). However, there needs to be legislation to prevent privacy abuse. Maybe make it illegal for stores to retain the data once the item is scanned out of their store.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2006 @04:20AM (#14507776)
    From http://www.spychips.com/ [spychips.com] - just one of many examples:

    Q: Is it true there are plans to put RFID chips in Euro banknotes?
    A: Hitachi has been working with the European Central Bank on the idea of putting RFID chips into Euro banknotes. This would eliminate the anonymity of cash by making it trackable. In essence, it would "register" your cash to you when you get it from the teller or take it out of the ATM. Euro banknotes could be RFID tagged as early as 2005. See: "Euro Notes May be Radio Tagged" at http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t295-s2135074,00. html [zdnet.co.uk] for details.
    • But when you ask someone else for change, it screws up the whole system. Probably stores won't keep track of what bills they hand you either.
    • Horsehockey.

      A passive tag typically is 96 bits in length these days, and those are the only tags anywhere near economically feasible for large-scale deployment. Of those 96 bits, you need between 30-50 bits to identify the encoding construct and the marking entity. That leaves you usually with on average 32-48 bits available for you to put your nefarious track-the-human-and-spy-on-him payload. There are lots of barcodes that can contain far more information than EPC Class 1 Gen 2 passive RFID tags.

      If y

  • By far the biggest RFID segment in coming years will be supply chain management," said Allen Nogee, In-Stat analyst, in a statement.
    Of course what he failed to mention was that within the supply chain management strata there's one segment that can't use RFID - the manufacturers and distributors of RFID. How could you put your own tag on a pallet/box of RFID tags and still use yours to track them? :)
  • RFID has obvious privacy flaws, why is the world pointed in the direction of RFID?

    Since when have companies ever gave a flip about maintianing the average person's privacy? The fact you have to opt-out of policies that share information most consumers would obviously rather keep private is proof enough.
  • This isn't good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fonos (847221)
    As a person who is forced to carry around an ID with RFID implemented into it, I can say this sucks. I go to an international school in Beijing, and to get any food at all, you need what they call a "smart card" which is basically just an ID card with your picture on it but it has RFID implemented into it. School policy is you can't pay straight-up cash for food which is really annoying seeing that everything you purchase via your smart card is logged. My parents can just go to the web interface and look at
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If many items will contain RFIDs it will pose a design challenge: how to isolate 'yours' from the rest? I can already see the problem in London Underground: the Oyster card (stored value travel card) is RFID based, but if you have another RFID card in the same holder (like my ID badge) it fails until you take the two apart.

    In this case it's easy to separate the two, but what if you don't even know you've been 'wired' with RFIDs in other articles? On the bright side, it at least means that you can use a Lo
  • RFID tags maybe the privacy issue but whats really going to matter are readers. Do we have any idea where and how readers will be installed? How fast is RFID reader technology developing? In the coming years readers are going to become much cheaper and have longer ranges and processing power. Worse (or better) these things will start to be networked, I can imagine by 2010 most mobile phones will have built RFID support, security cameras will probably have them fitted too, many building entrances and exits,
    • Reader technology is limited by pretty ordinary physics issues, so don't expect inexpensive, uniquitous 900MHz passive readers that are immune to interference to start showing up any time soon. Readers operate on public use frequencies, and baby monitors, cordless phones, microwave ovens, and a host of other equipment easily wreaks havoc with reads. The return signal from a passive tag to a reader is on the order of -50 dbm, far, far less power than your cell phone emits. The readers are power limited un
  • Oh no, short-ranged RFID recievers could be used to follow people around! like ... you know ... cameras, and car license plates, and the friggin' human eyeball. There are plenty of very real "civil rights" issues to take up, so why do the civil liberties groups waste so much of their time and effort crowing about some imagined concept of "privacy"?
  • The report from In-state [instat.com] (table of contents [instat.com]) costs $3k [instat.com]. And they don't accept Paypal.
  • "...why is the world pointed in the direction of RFID?

    for the same reason manufacturing is moving to China: WAL-MART

    ASFAIK- Wal-Mart is the primary push behind RFID and they making suppliers foot the bill.
    It starts out with an RFID tag on each Pallet, once that works out
    Then it moves to an RFID tag on each Box, once that works out
    Then it moves to an RFID tag on each ITEM

    As others have pointed out, the goal is to make inventory more efficient, but as a multi-millionaire business owner friend of mine p

  • by RobinH (124750) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @02:35PM (#14511434) Homepage
    Does anyone care to propose a solution? How about this:

    Limit RFID technology implanted in commercially available goods to a read distance of, say, 12 inches, and a mandatory lifespan of tags to 6 months, *or* require that tags be removed or disabled when the transaction is complete. The industry still gets useful technology, and we get our privacy.
  • Aside from manufacturers, who is going to making money with RFID, and how?

    I see very little demand for RFID consulting, will that change?

    CompTIA has a new RFID+ certification. I can't see that be useful for anything more than a $15/hour installer.

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