There has been a lot of talk lately about RFID chips - both good and bad. They have tremendous potential, but also have some privacy questions associated with them. However, as we pointed out last summer, some researchers at RSA have been working on creative solutions to the privacy problem by creating an RFID blocker tag. It was kind of surprising that this news didn't get more coverage and seemed to go away quickly. Very few of the discussions about RFID privacy issues mention the potential of a blocker tag. However, now, RSA has begun demonstrating how the blocker tag works and maybe it will get some more attention. Unfortunately, it's not as impressive as I had hoped it would be. The demonstration involves a shopping bag that has a blocker tag. Anything in the bag is thus unreadable by RFID readers. The problem with this is that it still requires you to take the item out of the bag to scan. I was hoping there would be a more dynamic way of doing this so that items could be scanned from within the bag, but only when necessary and from the specific reader with permission to read it. Hopefully, that's where the technology is headed.
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