Mar 03, 2013This white paper, submitted by Stephen August Weiss to the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was written in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Science Degree in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. RFID systems are a common and useful tool in manufacturing, supply chain management and retail inventory control. Due to advances in silicon manufacturing technology, RFID costs have dropped significantly. In the near future, low-cost RFID electronic product codes, or “smart-labels,” may be a practical replacement for optical bar codes on consumer items. However, the universal deployment of RFID devices in consumer items may expose new security and privacy risks not present in closed manufacturing environments. This thesis presents an introduction to RFID, identifies several threats to security and privacy and offers practical proposals for efficient security mechanisms, along with policy suggestions, open questions and areas of research.
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