Thursday, May 25, 2006

Have RFID tags with privacy protection arrived?

One of the leading challenges for RFID adoption is privacy. While the bulk of RFID utilization is now either in the supply chains (for pallets) or in the military, the growth of this technology is sure to increase. It's here that many are worried about the abuses of consumer privacy with item-level tagging.

Many have been working on potential solutions and IBM announced one viable possibility earlier this month. Known as the "clipped tag," IBM has developed an RFID tag that gives consumers a choice to disable it without eliminating options for returns or recalls later on. It's simple: once a person purchases an item with this tag, they can "tear" the label along perforations. This removes part of the tag's antenna and reduces transmission capability from a few feet to a mere inch.

Intellareturn Take: IBM's patent-pending RFID tag is an important step in moving the adoption of this technology into mainstream use. By limiting the capability to transmit information, organizations like retail stores and suppliers can incorporate RFID, safeguard the privacy of their customers and better manage the inventory and warranty processes ... without "killing the tag" and still reinforcing Electronic Product Codes.

We're excited to see how this progresses!