Search


Intersection: Sidewalks & Public Space

Chapter by Melissa Ngo

"The Myth of Security Under Camera Surveillance"


  • Categories


  • Archives

    « Home

    Archive for the ‘RFID’ Category

    Forbes: E-ZPasses Get Read All Over New York (Not Just At Toll Booths)

    Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

    Forbes reports that a man has found that E-ZPasses, which are used to pay tolls on highways and bridges, can be read far from toll booths and used to track individuals’ locations. Privacy questions surrounding the use of E-ZPasses and other RFID-enabled toll-payment technology have been raised before, including the question of retention and sale of the data. In 2010, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB1268 (pdf), which affects consumer privacy. The bill’s digest explains, “This bill would prohibit a transportation agency, as defined, from selling or providing personally identifiable information of a person obtained” through that person’s use of an electronic toll payment system. The law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2011, also requires agencies to purge the data when it is no longer needed for billing or law enforcement purposes.

    Forbes reports that a man going by the name “Puking Monkey” decided to ”hack[] his RFID-enabled E-ZPass to set off a light and a ‘moo cow’ every time it was being read. Then he drove around New York. His tag got milked multiple times on the short drive from Times Square to Madison Square Garden in mid-town Manhattan … and also on his way out of New York through Lincoln Tunnel, again in a place with no toll plaza.” Read more »

    Washington Post: Ways to thwart ID theft when traveling

    Friday, May 10th, 2013

    The Washington Post’s Navigator column discusses ways that individuals can protect themselves from identity theft when they’re traveling:

    One of the latest threats against travelers is invisible and silent: wireless attacks that siphon your credit card number, personal information and passwords. Anything with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip, including your passport or a credit card, can be read from afar. Thieves can also mine valuable data from your smartphone when it automatically logs on to a WiFi network.

    Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to thwart these wireless assaults, including new luggage products and common-sense steps that protect your devices and credit cards. [...] Read more »

    FTC Seeks Input on Privacy and Security Implications of the Internet of Things

    Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

    The Federal Trade Commission announced that it will conduct a workshop on November 21, 2013, on the privacy and security implications of the “Internet of Things,” which is a computerized network of physical objects. In IoT, sensors and data storage devices embedded in objects interact with Web services. (For more on privacy and the IoT, see a Center for Democracy and Technology report that I consulted on and contributed to, “Building the Digital Out-Of-Home Privacy Infrastructure.”) The FTC is seeking public comments. It said:

    The staff of the Federal Trade Commission is interested in the consumer privacy and security issues posed by the growing connectivity of consumer devices, such as cars, appliances, and medical devices, and invites comments on these issues in advance of a public workshop to be held on November 21, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

    The ability of everyday devices to communicate with each other and with people is becoming more prevalent and often is referred to as “The Internet of Things.”  [...]

    Connected devices can communicate with consumers, transmit data back to companies, and compile data for third parties such as researchers, health care providers, or even other consumers, who can measure how their product usage compares with that of their neighbors.  The devices can provide important benefits to consumers:  they can handle tasks on a consumer’s behalf, improve efficiency, and enable consumers to control elements of their home or work environment from a distance. At the same time, the data collection and sharing that smart devices and greater connectivity enable pose privacy and security risks.  Read more »

    Korea Times: Credit cards with bio-info to debut

    Monday, June 25th, 2012

    The Korea Times reports that there are privacy questions arising over proposed RFID-enabled cards that would contain individuals’ medical data:

    The state-run disaster control agency is working with a credit card company to issue cards that will contain biological information about holders to enable a quick and effective treatment in the event of an emergency.

    Heated debate concerning possible privacy violation and the consequences a leakage of such information could bring will match daytime temperatures.

    The National Emergency Management Agency said it has signed a deal with Korea Exchange Bank’s credit card unit to issue the cards, tentatively named “Respect Life Cards,” as early as next month.  Read more »

    Update: More on Electronic Tracking of Students in Texas

    Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

    We’ve discussed before the use of technology to track students. In March, it was reported that a northeastern Brazilian city had issued RFID-enabled school uniforms to track grade-school students. A couple of years ago, there was a report on a pilot program for the RFID-enabled  “BostONEcard,” which will be used to take attendance for Boston public school students and “to make it easier for some public school students to use city services by providing them with one card they can use to ride the MBTA, withdraw books from city libraries, play sports, attend after-school programs at community centers, and access meal programs at their schools.” Also, the San Francisco Chronicle had an editorial about the use of an RFID system to track children’s attendance in a head start program. There also were reports of colleges using wireless ID technology, as well.

    Now, the San Antonio Express-News reports on the use and expansion of RFID tracking technology to keep tabs on students in the Spring and Santa Fe school districts in Texas:

    Radio frequency identification — the same technology used to monitor cattle — is tracking students in the Spring and Santa Fe school districts. Read more »

    Financial Times: Europe set for ‘smart tag’ privacy code

    Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

    The Financial Times reports on a new privacy proposal in Europe designed to protect consumers who buy products with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology tags attached. (RFID systems transmit data wirelessly from a chip or tag to a reader.) It has been proven time and again that unsecured RFID tags can be scanned and the data gathered with cheap, off-the-shelf technology. Some states have laws that would protect such data. For example, Washington state has a law to prevent “skimming” (unauthorized gathering of data from RFID tags).

    Now, the Financial Times reports:

    European regulators and industry organisations have agreed to establish a voluntary code to protect consumers’ privacy when they buy or use products carrying ‘smart tags’. Read more »