Radio Frequency Identification

Radio frequency identification

Recently, credit cards with embedded smart chips have been a topic of discussion after a collection of high-profile data intrusions at prominent companies. Smart cards have been in circulation in many other countries for years and have helped curtail, but not eliminate theft of personal data. A card’s portable nature continues to make them a tempting target for thieves. Another portable alternative has been proposed that is more convenient than a card with far less risk of physical theft.

A controversial alternative to physical cards uses an existing technology, but has so far encountered a high adoption high resistance. Subcutaneous Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips are a form of micro technology embedded into the skin of their owners and has been proposed as a way to combat theft of personal information by thieves and scammers.

A tiny chip implanted in the skin can record banking information, driver’s license data, and medical history, and would be inseparable from the individual associated with the information. A thief would have a far more difficult time physically separating data from an individual and the owner of the chip would no longer need to carry any physical items to make a purchase.

Some have criticized the technology for religious and privacy concerns, while others are apprehensive about the security risk the chips might represent if an electronic chip reader fell into the wrong hands. Certain states such as Georgia and Virginia have moved to outlaw embedded chip mandates by employers, while other states, including Washington, are considering their use as a way to monitor sex offenders and felons.

Whatever direction RFID technology takes in the future, its use as part of a cashless society is likely to be included in security discussions.

Do you think RFID technology is an effective way to combat data thieves?

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

     /  June 4, 2014

    Do you think RFID technology is an effective way to combat data thieves? To answer this question, I think it would be yes. However, someone has to produce the chips and I don’t want all my identifcation in anyone else’s possession. I also believe that these “hackers” could find a way to scan you and get the information, either at the airport or other public places. Sounds like a good idea, but remember, the “hackers” are already one step ahead of everyone else, unless we do some illegal.

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