T Nation

RFID Spy Chips

My wife is reading the book “Spy Chips” by Albrecht & McIntyre.

It’s good. She keeps reading parts of it to me, and how all kinds of things can be tracked for marketing or “other” purposes.

It’s really creepy how much could be told by having a .25 mm chip in your shoe be read at many different locations, or an RFID tag on your vehicle showing that you went from an entrance to a highway, to an exit within a certain amount of time, which could get you a ticket for at least the average speed you must have driven to get there.

I figured it might make for some good conversation.

On a side note, I found a site where a guy makes a wallet that includes aluminum foil to block the RFID chips that are built into ID’s such as your driver’s license, Passport (US and Canada), and many credit cards.

http://www.rpi-polymath.com/ducttape/RFIDWallet.php

Oh yea, and he makes his wallet out of duct tape too (which is pretty cool in and of it’s self).

Uh oh.

Yeah, who knows, they can probably already track us through our mobile phones anyway, and those don’t leave our sides a lot of the time…

Supposedly, Walmart is requiring all of its suppliers to switch from bar codes to RFID tags very very soon. I thought it was already supposed to happen, but I guess it hasn’t yet?

For those who don’t know, an RFID tag is basically a longer, more detailed version of a barcode that uses radio frequency to read it, hence Radio Frequency IDentification tag. This is good, because you can now, theoretically put items in your shopping cart, walk through a radio check out thingy, swipe your credit card, and keep on walking. It isn’t good, because now, with RFIDs on clothing, etc, people can now tell a lot more about you & more specifically where you go, from potentially 10-50 feet or further. RFID is only supposed to go ~5 feet or so, but if I’m not mistaken, devices have been built to greatly extend this.

I don’t know what technology is being used, but parents of teen drivers can now sign up for a monthly service (at a hefty fee) that totally tracks the movements and speed of a particular car. Parents can click onto an internet site that shows the exact location of the vehicle on a map, and a little alarm will go off when a predetermined speed limit (like 70mph) is exceeded.

http://www.boycottgillette.com/pressrelease12-22.html

Another good one:
http://www.rfidjournal.com/

I had no idea people really cared that much, but from what my wife has been reading, there have been cameras hidden next to certain products in stores taking pictures of those who walk by and pic up their products, and even a scanner telling the marketting people when an item has been picked up, and how long the customer looked at it before putting it back down.

Oh, and she’s reading it because she has to do a paper on something that’s about a 50% moral issue, and 50% technology related.

[quote]T Ham wrote:
Supposedly, Walmart is requiring all of its suppliers to switch from bar codes to RFID tags very very soon. I thought it was already supposed to happen, but I guess it hasn’t yet?[/quote]

Yeah you’re right, I heard the same thing. I thought it already happened as well, but not yet I guess.

It’s pretty sophisticated. You scan the RFID and it tells you every detail about every single item in a box or on a pallet. Makes it much easier than tearing open all the boxes to make sure you have everything you ordered.

[quote]SWR-1240 wrote:
My wife is reading the book “Spy Chips” by Albrecht & McIntyre.

It’s good. She keeps reading parts of it to me, and how all kinds of things can be tracked for marketing or “other” purposes.

It’s really creepy how much could be told by having a .25 mm chip in your shoe be read at many different locations, or an RFID tag on your vehicle showing that you went from an entrance to a highway, to an exit within a certain amount of time, which could get you a ticket for at least the average speed you must have driven to get there.

I figured it might make for some good conversation.

On a side note, I found a site where a guy makes a wallet that includes aluminum foil to block the RFID chips that are built into ID’s such as your driver’s license, Passport (US and Canada), and many credit cards.

http://www.rpi-polymath.com/ducttape/RFIDWallet.php

Oh yea, and he makes his wallet out of duct tape too (which is pretty cool in and of it’s self).[/quote]

Yeah, supposedly, everything and everywhere will have these RFID chips. It’s technology of the future. Grocery stores, cars, retail stores, they will be everywhere soon.

How is your move coming along? Did you decide on Arizona or New Mexico?

[quote]dragonmamma wrote:
I don’t know what technology is being used, but parents of teen drivers can now sign up for a monthly service (at a hefty fee) that totally tracks the movements and speed of a particular car. Parents can click onto an internet site that shows the exact location of the vehicle on a map, and a little alarm will go off when a predetermined speed limit (like 70mph) is exceeded.[/quote]

I think that either uses a combo of cellular telephone sites and GPS. Some insurance companies are doing a trial with technology similar to this for some customers to adjust their insurance rates based on how fast they drive, etc.

Be careful of random websites that you find on the internet… (don’t forget http://www.dhmo.org/ for how easy it is to make a website with any information you want)
A good article on RFID tags:
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.07/shoppers.html

a 0.25mm chip will not have enough power to transmit over a very large distance.

you’re worried about nothing.

[quote]CU AeroStallion wrote:
a 0.25mm chip will not have enough power to transmit over a very large distance.

you’re worried about nothing.
[/quote]

The chips can be read from a distance of 5 feet.

The problem is the readers can be placed at strategic points, telling a lot of information.

What books you were standing in front of at the library, what stores you visit regularly, your daily routine, that you were at the gun store 2 days before your co-worker was mysteriously killed…

All of which can be used to target advertisements specifically to you, or to track where you’ve been, and what you may have been doing.

Could be a good and bad thing.

[quote]tmoney1 wrote:
How is your move coming along? Did you decide on Arizona or New Mexico?[/quote]

New Mexico. We just found a house to rent, with the option to rent-to-own.

We can live in it for up to 3 months before deciding if we want to just continue renting, or start the r-t-o process, then another year before we have to actually get the mortgage loan to take it over.

I also have a “Mexico?” thread that I should update.

A better chip would be one inserted in your head. If you break one of the Ten Commandments, you feel excruciating pain. The worse the offense, like murder, the worse the pain. The possibilities here are endless.

;D

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
A better chip would be one inserted in your head.

;D[/quote]

Actually, inserted in the butt would be better.

DB

[quote]SWR-1240 wrote:
The chips can be read from a distance of 5 feet.

The problem is the readers can be placed at strategic points, telling a lot of information.

What books you were standing in front of at the library, what stores you visit regularly, your daily routine, that you were at the gun store 2 days before your co-worker was mysteriously killed…

All of which can be used to target advertisements specifically to you, or to track where you’ve been, and what you may have been doing.

Could be a good and bad thing.[/quote]

And, random people can carry readers with them, and analyze the data they gather later…

[quote]T Ham wrote:
SWR-1240 wrote:
The chips can be read from a distance of 5 feet.

The problem is the readers can be placed at strategic points, telling a lot of information.

What books you were standing in front of at the library, what stores you visit regularly, your daily routine, that you were at the gun store 2 days before your co-worker was mysteriously killed…

All of which can be used to target advertisements specifically to you, or to track where you’ve been, and what you may have been doing.

Could be a good and bad thing.

And, random people can carry readers with them, and analyze the data they gather later…[/quote]

Like, “I came across 20 nameless, faceless people carrying Durex condoms in the right rear pocket of Levi’s 501 jeans purchased after June 4, 2004. 3 of the condoms were beyond their expiration dates.”

Tourette’s Syndrome is more frightening to me.

DB

[quote]dollarbill44 wrote:
T Ham wrote:

And, random people can carry readers with them, and analyze the data they gather later…

Like, “I came across 20 nameless, faceless people carrying Durex condoms in the right rear pocket of Levi’s 501 jeans purchased after June 4, 2004. 3 of the condoms were beyond their expiration dates.”

Tourette’s Syndrome is more frightening to me.

DB[/quote]

Lol, true. I don’t particularly worry about it, but it is something to be aware that the technology is out there.

I think it has more to do with stalkers, & the slippery slope privacy argument.

[quote]SWR-1240 wrote:
CU AeroStallion wrote:
a 0.25mm chip will not have enough power to transmit over a very large distance.

you’re worried about nothing.

The chips can be read from a distance of 5 feet.

The problem is the readers can be placed at strategic points, telling a lot of information.

What books you were standing in front of at the library, what stores you visit regularly, your daily routine, that you were at the gun store 2 days before your co-worker was mysteriously killed…

All of which can be used to target advertisements specifically to you, or to track where you’ve been, and what you may have been doing.

Could be a good and bad thing.[/quote]

This is pretty comical.

Wow! With technology like that, if someone were five feet away from you at the gun store they would know you went there! And if they were five feet away from you at the library they would know what books you were looking at! All without you knowing that someone was watching you do it!

With the cameras in the library, your checkout history (maybe), credit card purchases, gun registration, etc. I can do the same thing now with greater certainty without RFID. When they start putting RFID tags in cocaine bricks and AK-47s, and readers all along the Rio Grande, then they’ll start making some real headway. Until then, its a bunch of consumer flotsam that only directly (and at this point marginally) benefits the implementer.

Bottom line, you’re either doing nothing wrong, in which case you’re being too paranoid, or you’re doing something illicit, in which case you’re not being paranoid enough.

[quote]lucasa wrote:

With the cameras in the library, your checkout history (maybe), credit card purchases, gun registration, etc. I can do the same thing now with greater certainty without RFID. When they start putting RFID tags in cocaine bricks and AK-47s, and readers all along the Rio Grande, then they’ll start making some real headway. Until then, its a bunch of consumer flotsam that only directly (and at this point marginally) benefits the implementer. [/quote]

Did you read the wired article? Imagine what Wal-Mart can do if they completely switch over to RFID tags.

[quote]Bottom line, you’re either doing nothing wrong, in which case you’re being too paranoid, or you’re doing something illicit, in which case you’re not being paranoid enough.
[/quote]

Pretty much, but I don’t particularly want anyone to be able to get more detailed info than they already can (i.e. the government, or insurance companies…)