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BlogsAsk The Experts ForumIs There a Way to Use RFID Tags to Identify a Person Without Anyone Stealing That Individual's ID?

Is There a Way to Use RFID Tags to Identify a Person Without Anyone Stealing That Individual's ID?

Posted By RFID Journal, 11.13.2012
Tags: Retail, Privacy
Are any solutions 100 percent risk-free?

—Name withheld

Nothing in this world is 100 percent risk-free. That said, I would need to know more about what you mean by "stealing the ID." Does that mean no one else could read the tag used to identify someone, or that no one could clone the ID and then utilize it elsewhere? Those are very different scenarios.

To prevent a tag from being read, you could employ a proprietary protocol that no other system uses, or you could design a system in which a tag responds only to a specific reader. It is possible to create such a solution, but even this would not be 100 percent risk-free, as someone could still break into your office, steal the protocol and utilize it to read the tags.

It is difficult to prevent criminals from cloning tags. If you can read a serial number, you could write that number to another tag. Retailers and other companies tracking goods within a supply chain can look up a tag ID to see if has been used before—but if the tag is not linked to information in a database, then it would not be easy to determine whether or not that tag had been cloned.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor,
RFID Journal

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