Zombie RFID Tags Arise To Face Privacy Advocates

Zombie RFID tags may find their way into your pockets - causing some privacy advocates to breath a sigh of relief.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are used in place of barcodes to provide information about individual items in stores. They can be activated by scanners at distances of several yards; when activated, the tiny chip in the tag "spills the beans" - broadcasting information about the product. Many people are uncomfortable with the idea that their bag of purchases could be made to broadcast the contents if a thief (or even another store) had an appropriate scanner.

Enter the zombie RFID tag. This is a tag that has been manufactured and programmed to respond to an order to deactivate itself - and, under very special circumstances, to come back to life.

But why not just issue a permanent deactivation command? Some tags have been made to respond to a "kill command" and become inert. The question comes up when you bring an item back to the store for an exchange. If it is possible to "kill" the tag on the way out of the store (satisfying your need for privacy) but then re-animate it if you bring it back (thus letting it reenter the supply chain), everyone would be happy.

Except for the real dyed-in-the-wool privacy advocates, who say that a chip that you think has been deactivated is the worse possible case, since you will not take elementary precautions with it. And who knows when that zombie RFID tag might receive a command to awaken and live again?

For more information, see RFID: The tags that would not die. Additional aspects of RFID technology are covered in these recent SF in the News articles: China May Issue One Billion RFID-Based ID Cards and Baja Beach Club Implants VeriChip In Customers.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/21/2004)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 7 )

Index of related articles:

What is RFID?
How RFID Works
How is RFID used inside a living body?
What can RFID be used for?
Is RFID Technology Secure and Private?
Are There Concerns About How RFID Will Be Used? (Update)
Next-Generation Uses of RFID?
What Are Zombie RFID Tags?
Problems With RFID
RFID Information Technology Articles
Advantages of RFID Versus Barcodes
RFID Glossary
Contactless Credit Card Advantages
Contactless Credit Card Disadvantages

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Armano Remote Control Excavator
'The bulldozer moved through the... mine... ' - Niven and Pournelle, 1981.

Metalenses Now Reconfigurable With Liquid Crystal
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension...' - Frank Herbert, 1965.

NDB Nuclear Waste Battery Lasts A Lifetime
'Trillions of units of power could be compressed thus into an inch-square cube of what looked like blue-white ice.' - Edmond Hamilton, 1940.

Blaux Your Personal Commuter Cooling Unit
A cooling unit had to be strapped to every commuter's back, by law.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Tesla Will Have Metal Gear Snake Autocoupler, Musk Confirms
'Its motion was so swift, complex, and perfect that at first I did not see it as a machine, in spite of its metallic glitter.'

Starlink Satellites Leading Edge On-Orbit Debris Mitigation
Propulsion-assisted orbital decay, brought to you by SpaceX.

Healight Ultraviolet Endotracheal Device Has Covid-19 Treatment Potential
'He applied the tip of the instrument to the interior of the wound...'

Parents Use AI To See One Last Message From Their Deceased Son
'...what's to keep me from showing face, Man?'

Satoshi Tomizu Creates Pocket Universes And Worldcraft Bubbles In Glass
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'

Space Hero Inc. Offers Trip To ISS As Reality Show Prize
'This is Elmer Schmitz, presenting to you the finalists in our Aviation Quiz Program...'

I Love Ceiling-Mounted Robots
'Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling...'

Armano Remote Control Excavator
'The bulldozer moved through the... mine... '

OK, NASA 3D Printer Of Food Not Yet Star Trek Food Synthesizer
Maybe not, but we're seeing definite progress.

Kelly Clarkson Show Like Black Mirror '15 Million Merits'
'These people are pieces of software called avatars.'

Salto Jumping Robot Now Sticks Landing!
'Lucky touched the leap knob and the hopper's leg retracted.'

Gyroscopic Median-Straddling Mass Transit Vehicles
'It was among these leviathans that the little gyrocar was daring to thrust its puny self...'

Bigrating Laser Beam-Riding Light Sail Is Self-Correcting
'That sail will be twenty thousand miles at the wide part.'

ISS Astronauts Test Estee Lauder 'Advanced Night Repair' Skin Serum
'Out in the New Moon, just ask for what you want...'

LG Wing Twisting Smartphone Might Be Fun
'A polycarbon screen unfurled...'

Mushroom Coffin Returns You To Nature, Naturally
'She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.