RFID Blocker Demonstrated

from the good-to-see... dept

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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Comments on “RFID Blocker Demonstrated”

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Joe Baderderm says:

RFID Blocker

I just want to say that I own the patent to this and/or am already selling this on eBay.

I’m surprised that it didn’t get coverage for the potential misuse by criminals. I walk into department store X that uses RFID for security with an RFID blocking bag. I walk out the side door with as much stuff as will fit into the bag.

The technology reminds me of radar detectors. Everyone knows how useful it will be, but for whatever reason, mainstream use is not very high. I don’t really need them to RFID block my purchase of Cocoa Puffs. Take all the info you want from me, just don’t let those crazy radio waves cause cancer or anything…

eric says:


it sucks that consumers just cant pass a law forbidding item level tagging in the first place. There are NO reasons to track AFTER purchase, THINK about it! I believe an ITEM LEVEL DETECTOR is tha invention to pursue and DONT BUY TAGGED ITEMS AS THEY CAN BE RE ACTIVATED! A receipt for returns with no id required should be sufficient. I would even give up my “right of return” if push came to shove to protect my privacy!

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