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    Archive for the ‘RFID’ Category

    Arizona Republic: Skipping class? NAU high-tech system will know

    Monday, May 3rd, 2010

    The Arizona Republic reports that Northern Arizona University will soon begin using wireless ID card reader technology (likely RFID, but the article doesn’t say) to track student attendance in classes.

    This fall, the university plans to begin equipping classrooms on the Flagstaff campus with technology that will “read” a student’s ID when he or she enters the classroom. The readers are so sensitive that students won’t even have to take their IDs out of their pockets, said David Bousquet, NAU’s vice president of enrollment management and student affairs.

    The card readers, estimated to cost a total of $75,000 and paid for by federal stimulus funds, will be phased in. Eventually, Bousquet wants to install card readers in all classrooms that seat 50 or more students. Each faculty member could decide whether to use the system.

    NAU President John Haeger said he wants to improve student retention. Read more »

    IDG News Service: Controlling RFID Tags to Protect Privacy

    Friday, April 23rd, 2010

    IDG News Service reports on new research concerning radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and privacy.

    “We are building our own RFID cards and adding features to them to make it visible and noticeable when someone is accessing the information,” Nicolai Marquardt, a Ph.D. student at the University of Calgary said during the Computer Human Interaction conference in Atlanta Wednesday. […]

    With RFID being embedded into everyday items like passports, credit cards and transit passes, security becomes a concern with the always-on technology.

    Marquardt is working with Microsoft Research in the U.K. on the project and has four distinct types of RFID controllers. Read more »

    NPR: Lawmakers Are Working On Anti-Brain-Chip Bill

    Monday, April 19th, 2010

    National Public Radio reports on state efforts to restrict the use of a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip to track or “mark” individuals. Previously, I noted that in 2008, Missouri passed HB 2041, which makes it a misdemeanor for any employer to “require an employee to have personal identification microchip technology implanted into the employee for any reason.” The states of CaliforniaNorth Dakota (pdf) and Wisconsin (pdf) also have passed legislation forbidding the compelled implantation of RFID chips in humans. I’ve discussed how the use of RFID technology in ID cards can raise privacy and security questions.

    NPR reports:

    A [Georgia] state House committee approved a measure this week that makes it a misdemeanor to implant microchips, sensors, transmitters or any other manner of tracking devices into individuals against their will. The state Senate has already passed the bill. Read more »

    Wall Street Journal: Octopus Hopes to Expand in China

    Friday, April 2nd, 2010

    The Wall Street Journal reports on privacy questions concerning the use of a “smart,” stored-value card in China:

    Over the past 12 years, Hong Kong’s ubiquitous “Octopus card” has brought cashless payment to every facet of this city’s life, allowing people to ride subways, pay phone bills and buy groceries with the wave of a small plastic card.

    Now, Octopus Holdings Ltd. is spreading its tentacles around the world and into its most promising market: mainland China, where the card’s functions are being repurposed to handle everything from all-in-one bill payments to birth registration and social security. But as the amount of data stored on the card expands, concerns about privacy are growing. Read more »

    Physorg: One in four Germans wants microchip under skin: poll

    Friday, March 5th, 2010

    Physorg reports on a new poll that shows one in four Germans would accept being implanted with a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip if they believed the benefits outweighed concerns, including privacy questions. RFID systems transmit data wirelessly from a chip or tag to a reader.

    The survey, by German IT industry lobby group BITKOM, was intended to show how the division between real life and the virtual world is increasingly coming down, one of the main themes of the CeBIT trade fair that kicks off Tuesday.

    In all, 23 percent of around 1,000 respondents in the survey said they would be prepared to have a chip inserted under their skin “for certain benefits”.

    Around one in six (16 percent) said they would wear an implant to allow emergency services to rescue them more quickly in the event of a fire or accident. Read more »

    Update: In Philippines, high court stops RFID, tells LTO to refund fees

    Thursday, January 14th, 2010

    The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports that the country’s Supreme Court has “issued a status quo ante order—or one applying the existing situation before the implementation of the contested program” to stop the Land Transportation Office from implementing a system to tag cars electronically, a radio frequency identification (RFID) system. (RFID transmits data wirelessly from a chip or tag to a reader).

    The Supreme Court on Tuesday stopped the Land Transportation Office (LTO) from implementing the radio frequency identification (RFID) system for motor vehicles.

    In an en banc session, the Supreme Court issued a status quo ante order—or one applying the existing situation before the implementation of the contested program—on the RFID. Read more »