Is Killing an RFID Tag at the Point of Sale a Good Idea?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsIs Killing an RFID Tag at the Point of Sale a Good Idea?
RFID Journal Staff asked 10 years ago

If retailers like Wal-Mart decide to kill tags at checkout, will it still be possible for home inventory RFID systems to monitor products?

—Name withheld


No, if tags are killed at checkout, then they will be useless thereafter. This is why I believe killing tags is a bad solution. I don't think that will be the option most retailers will choose, however. Managing all of the security codes required to kill the tags would be too difficult, and there are too many downsides to killing the tag. I think that if RFID is used at the point of sale, the tags will not be killed. Instead, they will be put on labels or packaging that can then be thrown away.

If tags are eventually put into products, then the industry will need to develop the capability for a product's owner to change the serial number, so that consumers can use the tags to track their items but no one else can identify them. We are probably years away from broad use of RFID in items consumers buy; I think tags will be affixed to labels and packaging for at least the next five years.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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