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RFID Knowledges

Is RFID Really a Security Service?

News posted on: - by - RFIDtagworld XMINNOV RFID Tag Manufacturer / NewsID:1854

Is RFID Really a Security Service?

RFID is a technology that surrounds us every day. It’s in our credit cards, passports, and some of the products we buy. Even many of our pets have RFID chips in them!

RFID is essentially a form of electronic bar tag — one that can be much smaller. A nearby reader can use radiowaves to read the RFID tag without any visual contact. 


RFID tags can replace bar codes and QR codes. A bar code can only be read if the reader can visually see the bar code. RFID tags can be read if the reader is nearby, even if a bar code would be obscured. RFID tags can be used for tracking packages in the mail or goods in a warehouse. The RFID tag can contain tracking information or just a unique identification code.

Modern passports in many countries — including the USA and Canada — also contain an RFID chip. When you cross the border, the border agent can scan the passport, and the machine can read the data from the RFID chip.

RFID chips are also used in credit cards with contactless payments. When you tap a credit card to pay for something, the machine reads an RFID chip embedded in the card. They’re also used for transit systems, tolls, and security access cards. They can be read by a machine with a quick tap.

Security service and Privacy Concerns

Some people are concerned that attackers could use a handheld device in a crowd to read RFID information from nearby credit cards with contactless payment information embedded in them. Identity thieves could read the same information from an RFID-enabled passport or a security  service access card with an RFID chip. In 2006,a Dutch passort was read from ten meters away.That’s why some people purchase RFID blocking wallets,card holders, or passport cases. These just work by including a metal material that blocks the radio waves of an RFID reader.Except that,we also can make some special encoding rules,even that the thieves read some information out,but they still do not know what is the meaning of these information.

Other people are concerned that RFID could be used to track people’s movements. Perhaps the RFID chips in products we buy or in our credit cards themselves could be tracked by readers in various locations as we move around. In 2013, a company was using recycling bins around the city of London to collect information from nearby smartphones as they searched for Wi-Fi networks. They used this information to track people around the city of London and show tailored ads to them. Companies could attempt to do the same with nearby RFID tags.

No, you shouldn’t panic and start smashing your RFID-enabled credit cards and passports with a hammer. RFID is one of the many ways technology makes life more convenient but can lead to new security service and privacy problems. This is just something to be aware of.

RFID could be used for other purposes in the future. One old idea is that RFID could be used for shopping. You’d go to a grocery store and place all the items you want in your cart. Each item would have an RFID chip in it. When you’re done shopping, you’d simply walk out of the store, and an RFID reader near the exit would automatically read all the RFID tags to determine what you’re buying. You’d be billed for those products without any scanning required.