How Can RFID Help Track Purchased Products?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsHow Can RFID Help Track Purchased Products?
RFID Journal Staff asked 15 years ago

Suppose I want to sell an item that has an RFID tag in it. How can it help me keep track of the item if necessary?




First off, if you are embedding a tag in a product or its packaging, you should let your customers know that it is there. You should also let them know how the tag and the information it contains will be used. And if you plan to collect any personally identifiable information, you should offer your customers the ability to opt out or destroy the tag after the item is purchased. Failure to do so could lead to others using the tag in inappropriate ways to track individuals without their consent.

Once you've sold the item, a customer would have control of its tag. He or she could, potentially, reprogram it for his or her own use, disable it or remove it. The only way you would be able to keep track of the item is if you had interrogators set up at the customer's location, or if that client voluntarily shared information with you. For instance, if you were using an RFID tag to track a tool that must be recalibrated after 100 uses, you could work with your customer to set up a reader where the tool is employed, in order to track usage, or your client could do so and share that information with you.

Another potential application is to track warranty information. In that case, the customer would likely bring the product back to you or your service center, where you could read the tag and capture the serial number associated with the purchase and warrantee information.

—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal

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