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Adasa Plans Launch of Encryption System for EPC Tags

The company hopes its proprietary solution will gain acceptance as a way to secure tag data, as well as authenticate tags and the products to which they are attached.
By Claire Swedberg
Currently, there is no internationally accepted specification for data-encryption technology for EPC Gen 2 tags, thus posing a challenge for RFID security providers. "Interest in encryption-based security in UHF Gen 2 applications is simmering, but not active," says Scot Stelter, Impinj's senior director of product marketing. "The reason is that there is no industry standard for security as yet." Impinj, he says, is involved in standards-setting groups working to develop an encryption standard for EPC Gen 2 UHF tags. The establishment of such a standard would provide a common approach to technology that could include tag and reader security, and target both privacy protection and anticounterfeiting (anti-tag-cloning) applications. What's more, he says, it would also reduce cost and enable rapid adoption.

Thus far, Stelter says, "there have been a few attempts to implement non-standard subsets of security in Gen 2 systems." However, he notes, "None have stuck."

McAllister does not disagree with Stelter's assessment. "Adasa is about three years ahead of the standards process," he says. "That is why it's critical that we select the right 'pedigreed' IT partner to license our technology, so that they can deploy a proprietary system in the absence of a standard." He adds that, "as this proprietary solution gains adoption... then it can become part of future standards on a RAND [Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory] licensing basis."

Another important key to the adoption of security systems, Elzinga says, is their ease of use. "Customers don't like to be bothered with implementing complex security features," he states, "and therefore, the technology providers must look at security implementations from an end-to-end perspective, and make the components available for customers."

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