Does Human Touch Damage Transponders?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsDoes Human Touch Damage Transponders?
RFID Journal Staff asked 9 years ago

Is it true that physical contact can damage passive tags and render them unreadable?

—Name withheld


One way to render a passive RFID transponder unusable is to overload the circuits within the chip. This is analogous to blowing a fuse by overloading the electrical circuits in your home. Human beings are capable of building up a charge of electricity and then discharging it upon coming into contact with a metallic object (sometimes, you get a shock when you touch a doorknob, for instance). If there is a large enough discharge when you touch a transponder's microchip, it could blow a circuit and render the tag inoperable. This is a rare occurrence, because the chip is usually insulated by a paper label, a plastic inlay or some other packaging.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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