- US-based West End Laboratories, the research arm of LDC
Security, has developed a special RFID tag zapper designed to kill the
RFID chip preventing readers from performing unwanted scanning and tracking
of people or goods.
- According to the company, because information stored
on RFID tags can be read by anyone, they may pose privacy threats to customers
when deployed in retail environments, and have already triggered a wave
of consumer outcry.
- "In a naive, RFID-enabled world without technical
forethought, there is risk that sensitive information could be visible
in secret to anyone with an RFID reader," said Le Derec Caden, director
and chief scientist with West End Laboratories in the US.
- "Moreover, the unique serial numbers emitted by
RFID tags could be used to track people and objects surreptitiously. For
businesses too, RFID introduces new privacy and security risks - and a
whole new dimension to corporate espionage. These concerns have motivated
our scientists to work on a new generation of technical solutions that
match these challenges." Phil Devenport
- Rfid disable: tagzapper! The TagZapper is being developed
to be a light weight, handheld, device for deactivating RFID transmitting
devices. This is intended to fulfill consumer demand for a means to protect
their... http:// www.tagzapper.com
- RFID TAg Zapper (Privacy Jammer)
- RFID tags are tiny radio responders that can be attached
to anything for inventory, theft prevention and other purposes. They work
in the same manner as devices like "EZPass" and "SpeedPass"
that allow you pay tolls and buy gasoline without any interaction. A radio
signal transmitted nearby provides the energy, and the transponder responds
by echoing out a serial number in a radio response. The miniature tag versions
are just now starting to work their way into the economy. Recently Michelin
announced that soon every tire they make will have an RFID tag, and Gillette
signed a contract to buy millions of the tags.
- Many people fear that with little automated inventory
tags on everything, our privacy could be invaded in new and insidious ways.
The theory is that you could be surreptitiously scanned in many public
places, and the RFID codes from your clothing and personal belongings could
be used to track you. Some stores have promised to erase the tags somehow
at the checkout so they cannot be used that way, but how can we be sure?
- Regardless of whether this fear is valid, its very existence
creates a market for mitigation products. The Tagzapper is a handheld device
that can attack the RFID and render it usless.
- The Taggzapper may switch the transmitter into a high
power mode, to zap any tags you can not remove from the products in a way
that makes them non-functional. This is like the tag erasers that the vendors
claim they will install at the checkout, but controlled by you of course.