There is some interesting dialogue occurring about privacy issues over on the RFID Arena blog page. Mirva Saarijärvi of Nordic ID has posted some interesting content on the issue surrounding privacy and RFID, as its use spreads not only in retail, but in government (passports), manufacturing, transportation and other sectors.
The piece also looks at the consumer benefits of RFID.
Here is an excerpt from the blog:
But even if this RFID ‘sniffing’ isn’t used to steal funds or identity, who wants the medications and other contents of their purse to be scanned? Or the size of their undergarments? Heikki Seppä, a professor with the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and known in European circles as ‘Mr. RFID’, believes that encryption and security are playing catch-up to RFID implementation.
“If you look at one kind of RFID use – that of nearfield communication (NFC) in mobile phones, security and consequently privacy work very well,” says Seppä. “That’s because encryption is not only built in, but there’s also a chain of IDs that work together to form protection-mobile serial number, security pass code, SIM card serial number and NFC serial number. Together, this all forms a unique chain of identity,” he states. “If you lose the phone, you can deactivate the SIM card via the Internet and it becomes unusable. Other applications don’t have the same chain of IDs, and encryption is either nonexistent or easily cracked.”