You are on page 1of 9


An Introduction to
RFID Technology

RFID is at a critical price point that could enable its large-scale adoption.
What strengths are pushing it forward? What technical challenges and
privacy concerns must we still address?

n recent years, radio frequency identifica- low-cost or provide enough added value for an
tion technology has moved from obscurity organization to recover the cost elsewhere. RFID
into mainstream applications that help isn’t as cheap as traditional labeling technologies,
speed the handling of manufactured goods but it does offer added value and is now at a crit-
and materials. RFID enables identification ical price point that could enable its large-scale
from a distance, and unlike earlier bar-code tech- adoption for managing consumer retail goods.
nology (see the sidebar), it does so without requir- Here I introduce the principles of RFID, discuss
ing a line of sight.1 RFID tags (see figure 1) sup- its primary technologies and applications, and
port a larger set of unique IDs than bar codes and review the challenges organizations will face in
can incorporate additional data deploying this technology.
Roy Want such as manufacturer, product
Intel Research type, and even measure envi- RFID principles
ronmental factors such as tem- Many types of RFID exist, but at the highest
perature. Furthermore, RFID level, we can divide RFID devices into two classes:
systems can discern many different tags located in active and passive. Active tags require a power
the same general area without human assistance. source—they’re either connected to a powered
In contrast, consider a supermarket checkout infrastructure or use energy stored in an inte-
counter, where you must orient each bar-coded grated battery. In the latter case, a tag’s lifetime is
item toward a reader before scanning it. limited by the stored energy, balanced against the
So why has it taken over 50 years for this tech- number of read operations the device must
nology to become mainstream? The primary rea- undergo. One example of an active tag is the
son is cost. For electronic identification tech- transponder attached to an aircraft that identi-
nologies to compete with the rock-bottom pricing fies its national origin. Another example is a
of printed symbols, they must either be equally LoJack device attached to a car, which incorpo-
rates cellular technology and a GPS to locate the
car if stolen.
However, batteries make the cost, size, and life-
About the Review Process time of active tags impractical for the retail trade.
Passive RFID is of interest because the tags don’t
This article was reviewed and accepted before Roy Want became IEEE require batteries or maintenance. The tags also
Pervasive Computing’s editor in chief. It went through our standard peer- have an indefinite operational life and are small
review process and was accepted 28 Nov. 2005. —M. Satyanarayanan enough to fit into a practical adhesive label. A pas-
sive tag consists of three parts: an antenna, a semi-

1536-1268/06/$20.00 © 2006 IEEE ■ Published by the IEEE CS and IEEE ComSoc PERVASIVE computing 25

such as to identify animals. which prevent theft. transfers the tag’s ID (the tag’s chip 50 W. RFID TECHNOLOGY Figure 1. sales. techniques. Historically. their aircraft using the IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) system. helped automate and standardize the identification process.1 RFID: From Obscurity to Wal-Mart E ver since the advent of large-scale manufacturing. . Bar Regardless of these applications. vehicles. atively obscure for many years. near. The tag antenna captures energy and and an Intel Pentium 4 consumes up to and some form of encapsulation. can zations are pioneering its large-scale adoption: Wal-Mart. These two designs take advantage of the EM properties associated with an RF antenna—the near field and the far field. make toys interactive. be obscured by grease and nearby objects.) Through various modulation The tag reader is responsible for pow. The encapsulation could be a small glass vial (see figure 2a) or a laminar plastic substrate with adhesive on one side to enable easy attachment to goods (see fig- ure 2b). limit access to secure areas. and locate lost items. RFID can pinpoint individual items as they move more closely related to modern RFID in its effort to explore access between factories. streamlining the tracking of stock. coordinates this process). warehouses. labeling made a giant leap forward with airline luggage. and are hard to read in and the US Department of Defense. (For comparison. sulation maintains the tag’s integrity nals can also transmit and receive data. time marathon runners. the nominal power an Intel XScale processor consumes is approximately 500 mW. RFID is an alternative petitive pricing by using RFID to lower operational costs by labeling technology that has also been around for decades. Niche domains have also used effective technology—have been the staple of the manufacturing RFID in various applications. In linked through digital communication networks across a global set the 1960s. When used in The British employed RFID principles in World War II to identify combination with computerized databases and inventory control. rapid iden- tification techniques have helped speed the handling of goods and materials. Two fundamentally different RFID design approaches exist for transferring power from the reader to the tag: mag- netic induction and electromagnetic (EM) wave capture. Los Alamos National Laboratory carried out work of locations. RFID technology remained rel- codes are also cheap to produce. and stores. but they have many limitations. and orders. Both can transfer enough power to a remote tag to sustain its operation—typically between 10 W and 1 mW. The encap. Three different RFID tags—they come in all shapes and sizes.and far-field-based sig- ering and communicating with a tag. cost- control. three major organi- They require a clear line of sight between the reader and tag. Now. and make it harder to forge the badges. conductor chip attached to the antenna. printed labels—a 26 PERVASIVE computing www. the introduction of Universal Product Code bar codes. label industry. It incorporated RFID tags into employee badges to auto- matically identify people. Tesco. Each aims to offer more com- sunlight or when printed on some substrates. depending on the tag type. In the 1970s. and protects the antenna and chip from environmental conditions or reagents.

a sec. This current is propor. similar to a reader tion as a function of distance from the tering (see figure 5). mation can’t be transmitted back to the transfer. and infor- closely together to ensure efficient power quency of operation increases. If this voltage is number of ID bits required. A diode tional to the load applied to the tag’s coil However. dards. which will result in an accu- This is the same principle used in The range for which we can use mag. a signal can be encoded ration of the tag and reader. the tag receives this energy as an alter- this as a small increase in current flow. and a variety of proprietary solutions. the dis. if the tag’s electronics reader coil. extends beyond the primary coil. which bits placed in the code to remove errors on far-field communication. nating potential difference that appears ing through it. a transfer rate. (see figure 4) capture EM waves propa- the tag coil will give rise to its own small menting a passive RFID system. capacitor. a large alternating current through a strength representing the tag’s ID. which has a laminar plastic substrate (approximately 5  5 cm) with adhesive for easy attachment to goods. electronics. A variety of modulation read time. However. near-field communication has can rectify this potential and link it to a (hence load modulation). where r is the sepa- tion is the basis of near-field coupling varies it over time. The technique designers use for com- ondary coil can still acquire some of the tation is the energy available for induc. can operate decreases. range of the reader’s near field. Thus. mulation of energy in order to power its power transformers found in most homes netic induction approximates to c/2πf. (a) (b) Figure 2. unlike the induc- today—although usually a transformer’s where c is a constant (the speed of light) tive designs. each tag requires a higher figure 3) in this field. the data frequency. resulting in an alternating reader can then recover this signal by as well as discrimination between mul- magnetic field in its locality. However. you can then use to power the tag chip. mercial far-field RFID tags is back scat- energy at a distance. the tags are beyond the primary and secondary coil are wound and f is the frequency. encodings are possible depending on the data rate and thus a higher operating age will appear across it. Near-field coupling is the most RFID tags based on far-field emissions ulation. This is gating from a dipole antenna attached magnetic field—which will oppose the why it was the first approach taken and to the reader. as applications require more ID bits reading coil. The So. along a cen- between a reader and tag. The magnetic field drops off Faraday’s principle of magnetic induc. A reader passes as tiny variations in the magnetic field ter line perpendicular to the coil’s plane. If you place monitoring the change in current through tiple tags in the same locality for a fixed a tag that incorporates a smaller coil (see the reader coil. These design pressures have rectified and coupled to a capacitor. If they design an JANUARY–MARCH 2006 PERVASIVE computing 27 .com/rfid). as the fre. A smaller dipole antenna in reader’s field—the reader coil can detect has resulted in many subsequent stan. Because any current drawn from straightforward approach for imple. RFID tags based on near-field coupling: (a) a 128 kHz Trovan tag. Thus. across the arms of the dipole. such as ISO 15693 and 14443. applies a load to its own antenna coil and at a factor of 1/r3. Far-field RFID data back to the reader using load mod. and additional redundancy led to new passive RFID designs based reservoir of charge accumulates. resulting from noise in the communica- Tags that use near-field coupling send tion channel. an alternating volt. A further limi. as the magnetic field tance over which near-field coupling reader using load modulation. some physical limitations. Near-field RFID and a tag. encapsulated in a small glass vial that’s approximately 1 cm long and (b) a 13.56 MHz Tiris tag (www.ti.

if an imped. antenna with precise . can reflect back more or less of the design guide. below Figure 4. it can which can then detect the energy using a antenna for this purpose by placing a be tuned to a particular frequency and sensitive radio receiver. However. incoming signal in a pattern that encodes ciples operate at greater than 100 MHz the antenna will reflect back some of the the tag’s ID. As a rough at that frequency. In practice.45 GHz). Near-field power/communication mechanism for RFID tags operating at less than 100 MHz. typically in the ultra high-frequency energy (as tiny waves) toward the reader.45-GHz Alien tag (8  5 cm).computer. you can detune a tag’s (UHF) band (such as 2. the tag ing it partially on and off. RFID TECHNOLOGY Using induction for power coupling from reader to tag and load modulation to transfer data from tag to reader Magnetic field affected by tag data Data via Power and data changes in field strength (if tag supports RFID write) tag RFID reader Binary tag ID Glass or plastic encapsulation Coil c/2πƒ Near-field region Far-field region Propagating electromagnetic Alternating magnetic field in waves the near-field region Figure 3. (a) (b) 28 PERVASIVE computing www. RFID tags based on far-field coupling: (a) a 900-MHz Alien tag (16  1 cm) and (b) a 2. By changing the transistor across its dipole and then turn- absorb most of the energy that reaches it antenna’s impedance over time. tags that use far-field prin- ance mismatch occurs at this frequency.

This isn’t necessary for based on near-field coupling.epcglobalinc. This resulting in the Near-Field Communi- required to power a tag at a given fre.nfc-forum. EPCglobal An important recent development is 1/r4 (again. Since Fortunately. a nonprofit organization set up by the widespread RFID standard aims to provide a mechanism radio receivers have been developed with seeable future—not just using generic by which wireless mobile devices can JANUARY–MARCH 2006 PERVASIVE computing 29 . Philips has pioneered an open and the shrinking feature size of semi. forum sets out to integrate active signal- as low as a few microwatts). reader can successfully interrogate tags forgery. we can design most attention of late. but it has impli- A far-field system’s range is limited by power levels on the order of –100 dBm cations for tracing manufacturing faults the amount of energy that reaches the in the 2. opens up new possibilities for more tag and reader). A typical far-field and stolen goods and for detecting tag from the reader and by how sensi. conductor manufacturing. which has been Adopting a standard: The reader to the tag.) inverse square law—the first attenuation moting the design of UHF tags (see occurs as EM waves radiate from the www. with basic inventory control. each based on an EPCglobal’s work was key to pro. Using electromagnetic (EM) wave capture to transfer power from reader to tag and EM backscatter to transfer data from tag to reader Data modulated on signal reflected by tag Power RFID tag RFID reader Binary tag ID Glass or plastic Data (if tag supports data write) encapsulation Antenna dipole Propagating electromagnetic waves (typically UHF) Near-field region Far-field region Figure 5. (I discuss the related pri- two attenuations. into Auto-ID labs. Furthermore. enabling direct marketing based on is very small. and standard through EMCA International. The new NFC few years ago. because it’s the result of up to 6 m. for a reasonable cost. Near-Field Communication reflected waves travel back from the tag Mart and Tesco (see the sidebar for more Forum to the reader. and it uses an approach tags that can be read at increasingly over 50 quadrillion (50  1015) items. this frequency is the domain of RFID improved sensitivity so they can now product codes. but its Class-1 Gener.4-GHz band. vacy concerns later on. So. that is compatible with reading existing greater distances than were possible a making it possible to uniquely label passive RFID products. The actual return signal claim their products have read ranges of ties. Far-field power/communication mechanism for RFID tags operating at greater than 100 MHz. detect signals. a commercial company. still part of MIT. r is the separation of the was originally the MIT Auto-ID Center. inexpensive every manufactured item for the fore. prior purchases. The quency continues to decrease (currently of tag standards. The center later divided 2002. This tag can label field coupling. with ation-1 96-bit tag is the one receiving the ing between mobile devices using near- modern Thus the returning energy information about the trials). and the second when the basis of RFID trials at both Wal. the energy EPCglobal. thanks to Moore’s law MIT Media Lab. company has defined an extensible range cation Forum (www. It also offers the more contro- tive the reader’s radio receiver is to the 3 m away. and some RFID companies versial post-sale marketing opportuni- reflected signal.

But a collision might than rely on the discovery mechanisms still occur. an RFID tag is ideal. words. rather the tag’s response. the EPCglobal class-1 standard imple- It also allows mobile devices to read this field communication techniques. to be compatible with ISO 15693 RFID Using another anticollision approach. RFID TECHNOLOGY communicate with peer devices in the beginning of the interrogation signal and immediate locality (up to 20 cm). Tree protocol. the discovery process by passing wire. all tags the RFID tags it encounters. From the front. (figure courtesy of Nokia) cycle ends. such as the In its simplest form. that branch is pruned from the to a smart card) and place calls based on tem would speed up the checkout binary tree. lets reader. the protocol need to be read every time a tag is inter- EPCglobal RFID tags are based on far. For exam. present will respond to the reader in ple. inserts a random delay between the rogated but are available when required. ments an algorithm based on a Query already popular tag standard and to be ing at UHF frequencies. when limited to 20 cm. per second. the phone shopping cart as it is pushed through an the remaining search space. you could place your phone near an Even if the RF reading environment for depth-first-search order. On hearing the reader’s Enabling a distributed memory within a computer’s memory. The reader starts an inter- compatible with the FeliCa and Mifare NFC and EPCglobal standards are fun. Furthermore. After a short time. resulting in a collision. 30 PERVASIVE computing www. ID space’s top branches (modeled as a Japan. characteristics and might form associa. access)-based communication networks. but if a particular subtree doesn’t NFC reader (see figure 6). sive computing. it’s still an engi. widely used in damentally incompatible. In other can make electronic payments (similar instrumented checkout aisle. work. all generate a reply. eral rounds of interrogation until it hears These standards. They can incorporate additional read- technology for implementing Mark In CSMA (carrier sense multiple only or read-write memory. but on the back. more information than a simple ID. both would acquire enough power revolution positions of taxis being tracked by the to turn on and transmit a response back Another distinguishing feature of dispatch computer. and the physical to the reader. we less Media Access Control addresses and can adjust the probability to suit typical channel-encryption keys between radios Figure 6. Unfortunately. The forum can see the reader coil molded into the round until the current interrogation deliberately designed the NFC standard housing. tems using this anticollision algorithm and your phone would call the taxi com. phones. Nokia announced the 3200 Reading colocated tags recursively repeats for each subtree GSM cell phone. this is an old probl. number of tags present. Read-only memory might contain A complication for broad adoption of em that an anticollision protocol can additional product details that don’t the NFC standard is that state-of-the-art . The number of rounds used. The modern RFID is that tags can contain far world. you reader from responding on the next for encryption key exchange. The Nokia 3200 cell phone operation conditions. neering challenge to support multiple can potentially read 500 colocated tags pany’s coordinator to request a taxi at colocated tags. binary tree) contain tags.2 This model offers a close ated next to each other and equidistant link between the virtual representations from the reader. such as signs and people with cell data from both tags would be superim. and duration of tions with devices that aren’t local. so the reader must initiate sev- of popular short-range radio standards. features a Near Field Communications enhance this protocol by preventing tags nel. each tag reply can be used to calculate The NFC standard aims to streamline the probability of all tags being detected. have unpredictable propagation ability. process and reduce operational costs. and charge for.56-MHz band. the reader won’t con- company hasn’t published an extensive tagged goods in a standard supermarket sider any of its branches and subtrees in list of potential applications. rogation cycle by asking which of the smart card standards. We can further through a near-field coupling side chan. By modifying the number of rounds. that location. which. Consider two tags situ. Although the systems is to read. EPCglobal sys- RFID tag attached to a taxi-stand sign. tags operating in the 13. which incorporates an One commercial objective of RFID branch. The algorithm In 2004. Such a sys. reader can then further interact with.3 such as Ethernet. which a Weiser’s vision of ubiquitous and perva. it is a key enabling posed and garbled. it looks like an that have already been heard by the users enforce their own physical security ordinary cell phone. such as Bluetooth and all the tags in that area with high prob- Wi-Fi.

sidering RFID use for inventory track- using RFID to extend this kind of track. so we two writes occur sequentially but sepa. technolo- consumer goods might tell you about the you drop a package on the floor. at each tagged with RFID. if a package is misdirected dur. For example. the tag memory might con. This is similar product. be used for historical data or for updates include data that onboard sensors cre. Another application of RFID sensing is due care. Other RFID applications take advan- tage of read-write memory available in ies in a handheld unit—could contain porated into an RFID tag. If locations in a city were modern RFID tags is that they can con. perhaps a thin some tag types. and dairy prod. An RFID temperature correct destination. advocates are concerned that even to the providence documentation that ply a single bit of information that can though many of the corporations con- often accompanies antiques of value. they remain within a safe temperature range. from the infrastructure or from batter. ing have honorable intentions.For example. this improves JANUARY–MARCH 2006 PERVASIVE computing 31 . A passive force sensor can sup. passive RFID doesn’t another application domain for RFID Tag memory can also be used to have the continuous power needed to sensing. If tampering occurs. memory capability embedded in our sur. Although a tag’s unique ID can stamps couldn’t be derived from the tag nology that clearly shows customers if the be used to recover its records in an online itself. An RFID tain a batch code. outcomes for many customers. Time stamps can also be stored in an ucts shouldn’t exceed a critical tempera. tag. so time ucts are protected by a packaging tech- mation. In this way. Additional destina- tion information written into the tag sensor could both identify goods and ensure would obviate the need and cost of a fully networked tracking system. the receiving organi- zation might not be able to determine its to perishable goods. Typically. tamper-free items.000 bits—it’s likely to grow in the tag. a tag attached to secondhand haven’t been exceeded. so if some products at least constrains when the forgery has startseite_en. ated dynamically. the readers—powered product has been tampered with. perature sensor could both identify goods don’t know when communication is rated in time. The KSW TempSens labels its garments with RFID tags. are found to be faulty. the technology might be sumers with greater confidence in their in relation to perishable goods. Furthermore. time of the second write. Privacy product changed hands. about nearby services. tags in commercial prod. ple binary switch (sensor) can be incor- base might not always be possible. Most modern consumable prod- enable tags to store self-describing infor. Although the size of these an electronic clock and write time loop of wire extending from the tag memories is currently small—typically stamps alongside other data written into through the packaging and back to the 200 to 8. Unfortunately. you can check messages directly into the tag. support an onboard clock. the wire breaks the future and be used in creative ways. and shows up as a tamper bit when the These tags could lead to a distributed RFID that incorporates sensing tag is read during checkout. This might data stored in an internal memory and individual products for tamper activity.php). For example. the code can help occurred to after the first time stamp.4 a reader could write vey information that extends beyond point in the supply chain. if recent years as journalists. items such as meat. communication with the data. the first write purpose (see www. Consider a clothing store that have occurred after the first write. unwittingly used to create undesirable secondhand purchases. the second write must and ensure they remain within a safe occurring. invisible communication channels. be returned along with an RFID tag’s ID. of RFID technology can already ensure Privacy concerns ucts could contain ownership history. fruit. If a temperature range. From reader were trying to forge the writing RFID tag was designed explicitly for this the store’s perspective. without ing to everyday items could provide con. However. and privacy advocates have previous owners and when and where the impact might have damaged the enclosed debated the ethics of its use. if be safe for consumption. alerting the system about the problem.5 Commercial versions Additionally. making it easier to find the culprits. the gists.ksw-microtec. For example. The inherent problem is that radio- RFID memory alongside other data that ture during transportation or they won’t based technologies interact through has been written there. For that critical environmental parameters RFID has received much attention in example. One of the most intriguing aspects of a store can ensure that it only purveys roundings. Antitamper product packaging is find other items with the same defects. Another application of RFID sensing is in relation ing transportation. A sim- database.

packaging mate- could learn where the customer shops to a garment and (deliberately) difficult to rials. wash. judg. Of course. 32 PERVASIVE computing www.9 as interrogation signals ing machine manufacturers could inte.7 The passport scheme is 1 million. 5-cent. so it’s important that you about incompatible garments that simple countermeasures to prevent tag we proceed cautiously to incorporate safe- might result in color runs. making them aware of responds to each interrogation such that tiple readers to be deployed. Perhaps having genuine concerns. then you might not have any remaining profit. because employ. it could rapidly accelerate as mass production proceed cautiously to incorporate safeguards drives down prices. pos. misuse is exactly what we need to over. Although RFID tags are late tag use. so it’s important that we when adoption does take hold. which isn’t address public concerns. Three main issues are holding back ers should adhere to in order to protect to hastily retreat after it announced plans RFID’s widespread adoption. Vendors—including Vendors then wouldn’t have to remove tification. no laws regu- to use RFID tags in its stores. and checkout configurations found better target the person with direct-mar. but the government Market analysts can’t agree on the employees can perform fast periodic is modifying its implementation to price tipping point—will it be a 10-cent. a well-known clothing store. it’s possible in their tags that lets vendors perma. Privacy tember 2005. so the reader has no idea what and civil libertarians have raised some priate washing cycle and possibly warn tags are actually nearby. A strict grate RFID readers into the doors of collision protocol. by coordinating multiple readers. that takes advantage of EPCglobal’s anti. Improved tag antenna keting techniques. An insidious antenna diversity by multiplexing their sibly targeting them for theft. Alien Technologies (www. remains come privacy concerns. guards that address the potential for RFID The current focus. will interfere with each other. and that not all stores would be vigilant readers can also be designed to exhibit ing their wealth based on purchases. about disabling the tags. the first of citizens’ rights. Also. (As of Sep. We that address the potential for RFID misuse. which might be woven into to all tag orientations. remove. advocates argued that covert readers alientechnology. identity theft. that vendors might become complacent design can solve some of these issues. Another important issue is design. print it on the wrapper) with a 10-cent to track customers every time they wear nently disable a tag at the point of could supply RFID ees can quickly catalog the contents of might steal the information. Tag a criminal might track consumers. or use is high. of a blocker tag8—a modified RFID tag lision problem. RFID TECHNOLOGY inventory stock checks. and legislation might be also surfaced when the US government now potentially available at prices as low required to assure the public. this is still much more time. RFID tag. we must avoid the reader col- example. of our daily activities. Even more troubling. EPCglobal has addressed some of candy bar—if you replace a bar code However. even when cus. misuse. RFID The press and civil libertarians have raised some tags are likely to have their first deploy- ments with high-profit items.) tomers have mixed up the clothes. Consequently. In 2003.9 cents each in quantities of various racks and bins. The blocker tag time division scheme would allow mul- their machines. For RSA’s proposed solution is the concept latter case. however. early adopters such as Wal-Mart passports to make them easier to check at expensive than printed labels. Of course. and Tesco could help defuse concerns by borders and harder to forge. which could later mounted in orthogonal orientations. Currently. genuine concerns. In the mean- announced plans to put RFID tags into as 13 cents each. all items selected for washing.”10 which cloud of public and media concern forced Remaining challenges laid down a set of guidelines that retail- Benetton. still need to engineer tags and readers so that they guarantee highly reliable iden- the tagged clothing. A growing posed “An RFID Bill of Rights.6 Concern which is cost. The press machines could then choose the appro. The solutions must be resilient vendors other than the original seller— the tag itself. enabling tags for if clothes were tagged. publicly adopting a similar proposal. concerns still exist in typical stores. undesirable scenarios can be be exploited for criminal purposes. number of tags could still become part signals between several antenna modules Although the potential for RFID mis. Simson Garfinkel pro- on the potential for misuse. still going . present. The it appears that all possible tag IDs are The final issue is acceptance. or 1-cent tag? Consider a 50-cent usually an easy task. stock checks to detect thefts. if the store fails to remove a these concerns by designing a kill switch (which costs nothing because you can tag at the point of purchase. In the turned into potentially useful ones.

distributed systems. and Things: Web Presence of the Real World. D. 2003. mation held in computers at banks and other organizations. “‘Step Back’ for Wireless ID 2004. and it’s only a matter of electromechanical systems. He received his PhD for his work on “reliable manage- time before the component costs fall low ment of voice in a distributed system” from Cambridge University. RFID’s potential benefits are large. pp. Juels. 2200 Mission College Blvd. John Wiley & Sons. pp. Chipped. 8 Apr. media reac. 1999. Santa enough to make RFID an attractive eco. Want. ing and its associated materials to more 8. California. Intellectual Property Protection and Piracy • The Security Profession • Education 5.want@intel. Finkelzeller. reading systems. 37. “Enabling Ubiquitous Sensing with RFID.wired. rity. there is no reason why RFID data management can’t acquire a similar code of conduct. www. hardware design. BE SECURE. Rivest. “Bridging Real and Virtual with this peer-reviewed Tech?” Wired News. AUTOID-WH-007.” distributors to modify product packag. 10. and continues to make inroads leader of the Ubiquity Strategic Research Project. vol. Furthermore. 4. at this Blocker Tag: Selective Blocking of RFID delicate stage.” Computer..1382. ACM Press. Collision Problem. We might also start to 7. REFERENCES 1. ACM Press. 9. 65412. and M. Worlds with Electronic Tags. 265. A. S. Given that legislation is now in place among most of the developed countries to protect our personal infor. wireless protocols. pp. vol. “The effectively integrate RFID. 35. Szydlo. Secu. and micro- tems. Contact him at Intel Corp. tion and outspoken privacy groups can influence the rules by which we use the technology. 94–104.” Proc.. please visit our Digital Library at www. ACM SIGCHI.” Wired News. Garfinkel. and provide critical services even in the face of attacks. nomic proposition. M. no. Wireless Security • Securing the Enterprise • Designing 4. Top security professionals in the field share 3. Batista. ubiquitous computing. 8th For more information on this or any other comput- are trialing the technology.” Proc. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and ACM. Sarma. “The Reader overcome current technical limitations 00. “People. embedded systems.. R. exten- sive engineering efforts are under way to wired.html. Kindberg et al. ACM Conf.L. Want et al. 2003. Order your subscription today. roy. 1991. “American Passports to Get 2001. into inventory control sys. 365–376. JANUARY–MARCH 2006 PERVASIVE computing 33 .” Scientific Am.. Places.” for Security Infrastructure Security • Privacy Issues ACM Mobile Networks & Applications J. “The Computer for the 21st information you can rely on: Century. “An RFID Bill of Rights. Singel.58385. 2004. 103–111. the AUTHOR D espite these challenges. D O N’T R U N T H E R I S K . 3. and we’re sure to see many novel appli- cations in the future—some of which we can’t even begin to imagine. Engels and S. 19 Oct. • Legal Issues • Cybercrime • Digital Rights Management • 2002. R. Oct. CA 95052. 2003. RFID Roy Want is a principal engineer at Intel Research in Santa Clara. while major corporations Tags for Consumer Privacy.E. His research interests include proactive computing. E. Auto-ID Center. 2. Weiser. R.1848. 2002. computer.” white paper MIT- and to build accurate and reliable tag. pp.. K. Develop lasting security solutions. Finally. ing topic..html. no. 370–377. The RFID Handbook. Nov. T. automatic identification.00. 6. Clara. Computer and Comm.. 2nd Ensure that your networks operate safely ed. Technology Rev.W. see economic pressure from the larger www. 84–86..