Are There Products for Making RFID Chips Unidentifiable?


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Ask The ExpertsCategory: QuestionsAre There Products for Making RFID Chips Unidentifiable?
Julian Vlasich asked 1 year ago

For the purpose of making the sources of the products we sell unidentifiable to our competitors, we need to get rid of the information on the RFID chips included on the shoe box tags. Is there any official product that will do this? I found a few RFID killers online on shady websites that only offer payment via Coinbase. Do any retailers sell such products? And are there any other solutions? Destroying the RFID chip with a microwave is something that we tried, but it damages the label and we would like to keep everything as close to original situation as possible. Cutting the chip also worked, but is there any tool that can delete the data on the chip without physically damaging it?


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The function of "killing" or muting an RFID tag is typically built into the chip, so we don't know of legitimate devices that would disable a generic RFID tag without damaging it, such as cutting the antenna, as you'd mentioned. There may be negligible risk when it comes to information on your existing RFID chips, however, even if they remain in place and functional. The ID number is linked to data in a separate database, and thus has no value to competitors or hackers, who would be unable to access that data. Still, chip companies do make products that come with features which might be useful for your application.

If tag data protection is important for your application, make sure you choose tags that include a chip supporting the feature you wish to use. The most extreme data protection is a "kill" feature, according to Martin Liebl, Impinj's senior product management director, whereby an authorized reader can permanently deactivate a tag so that it will no longer respond, ever. An alternative would be to block unauthorized readers from accessing information. Yet another would be to switch the tag to short-range mode, so that it would only respond if it was sufficiently close to a reader. Impinj offers Protected Mode features in its chips.

Claire Swedberg
Senior Editor
RFID Journal


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