How Can Product Tags Be Deactivated Before Purchase?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsHow Can Product Tags Be Deactivated Before Purchase?
RFID Journal Staff asked 12 years ago
We are a distributor, and we recently began receiving shipments with RFID tags. We would like to deactivate the tags before reselling the products to customers, to avoid any privacy issues. We cannot remove the tags easily, however, so we wonder if there is a way to deactivate or kill them (we do not have the kill codes).

—Name withheld

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An interesting question! It’s unlikely, at this stage, that the transponders would cause any problems, since only the manufacturer would know they were there.

The only way I can think of to kill the transponders would be to blow the circuits in the microchip with a jolt of electricity. Static electric discharge is often enough to do this, so you could subject the transponders to a charge, or place the tagged products close to a device that emits a jolt of electromagnetic energy. Or you could put them in a microwave oven.

Perhaps our readers will have other suggestions for killing the tags.

—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal

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