How Can RFID Be Used to Deter Theft?

By RFID Journal

  • TAGS
Ask The ExpertsHow Can RFID Be Used to Deter Theft?
RFID Journal Staff asked 15 years ago

Can you provide any reference for mobile theft prevention using RFID tags?

—Name withheld


I'm not sure what you mean by "mobile theft prevention," but RFID has been considered as a possible theft deterrent. Northland, an Austrian outdoor apparel and equipment retailer, has been examining RFID tags combined with electronic article surveillance technology (see Outdoor Clothing and Equipment Retailer Tests RFID-EAS Tags). But for the most part, RFID is not being used to deter theft in stores, at this point.

RFID can potentially reduce theft in the supply chain. Businesses have been utilizing RFID badges to determine, for instance, which personnel open a locked cage and remove a high-value item that has been tagged. Software links the item removed from the cage with the person who opened the cage, so that if it is not sold or returned, that individual can then be questioned.

Sony Europe has reduced theft in its supply chain by linking RFID and video surveillance cameras. The unique ID in the RFID tag is embedded in a digital video file, so that if an item goes missing, a search for the serial number calls up the video related to the last time it was read. That helps determine who might have stolen the item (see Sony Europe Implements Video-RFID Tracking System).

Other companies have tested the ability to put items in containers and place electronic seals on those containers. All of these systems have shown promise, but only work properly when the items being protected are tagged.

—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal

Previous Post