Ben Cantrick (mackys) wrote,
Ben Cantrick

RFID arms race, round 1, FIGHT!

The labs at RSA Security on Wednesday outlined plans for a technology they call blocker tags, which are similar in size and cost to radio frequency identification (RFID) tags but disrupt the transmission of information to scanning devices and thwart the collection of data.

The technique, one of few RFID-blocking technologies being worked on by researchers, is still a concept in the labs. But the next step is to develop prototype chips and see if manufacturers are interested in making the processors, according to Ari Juels, a principal research scientist with RSA Laboratories. Blocker and RFID tags are about the size of a grain of sand and cost around 10 cents.

First of all, let me say, this is a great idea. Excellent thinking.

However, let's be realistic here - there are going to be companies that will try and get around this. They'll use a different frequency, or do some special encoding of the data so it doesn't trip the blocker tag, etc.

So we have an arms race. Which is okay, actually. Arms races generally tend to cause both sides to be wary, which is probably the best outcome we can hope for when it comes to RFID. There's no stopping the technology - but as long as everyone is fully aware of it, things will probably be alright in the long run.
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