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BlogsAsk The Experts ForumDo Passive NFC Tags Emit Personal Data Without a Reading Device's Power Supply?

Do Passive NFC Tags Emit Personal Data Without a Reading Device's Power Supply?

Posted By RFID Journal, 02.26.2020

Several blogs claim that Near Field Communication sends out personal data, so that they can sell people NFC blockers. Does an NFC tag or card antenna harvest enough energy from the atmosphere to emit personal data?

—Clinton

———

Clinton,

Near Field Communication (NFC) tags and cards are a form of passive HF RFID. The term "passive" is used for a reason, as the transponder in these devices does not send out any signal unless asked to respond by a reader. A reader, by the way, is often called an "interrogator" because it keeps asking tags questions in order to obtain data from them. Moreover, NFC tags, like almost all RFID tags, are designed to capture energy emitted by a reader at a certain frequency. They are not designed to harvest ambient energy in the environment, then store it and randomly send out a signal in case a reader is nearby. So, no, NFC tags and cards do not emit personal data without a reader sending energy at a specific frequency (13.56 MHz) and asking it to respond.

I hope to see you at RFID Journal LIVE! 2020 in April.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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