RFID Tagging: Final Report

guineanscarletElectronics - Devices

Nov 27, 2013 (4 years and 7 months ago)


RFID Tagging: Final Report

Stephanie Allen, Gina
Calcaterra, Michael Gray,
Rahul Nair, Sumit Pahwa,
Edward Robertson

MGT 6772


Technology Review

Active and Passive

Legal Issues on Privacy

Successes and Failures

Review of existing RFID implementations

Consumer Concerns

Business Case

Big Picture and the Future of RFID

Technology Review


Active RFID

Tags have internal power source

Larger computational capability and memory

Sensors can be added on board

Long range

Several thousand can be read by a single reader

More expensive (several dollars to >$200)

Life cycle limited by power source

Technology Review


Passive RFID

Tags powered by transmitted reader energy

Short range

Limited multi
read capability

Very small onboard cache (~128 kb)

Virtually infinite lifetime

High powered reader is needed

Very low cost (~20 cents)

Active RFID

Passive RFID

Area Monitoring



Cargo security






process impact


Minimal to

Active Vs Passive RFID

Uses of Active RFID

External Powered

MARTA buses

Rental cars

powered (battery/solar)

Shipping containers

Future Federal mandates for cargo

Storage containers

Naval aircraft engines

Uses of Passive RFID


Supply chain optimization

Near real
time stocking information


wait” checkout

Alternative to credit cards


Smart appliances

Georgia Tech “Aware Home”

Privacy vs. Location: Case I

Case I:

While RFID is still under control of
retailer or wholesaler.

Easy Case.

consumers know
that as they pass through the security gates
that they are being scanned for stolen

Case II: RFID in Waste or Recycling

More complicated.

“having deposited their garbage in an area
particularly suited for public inspection and,
in a manner of speaking, public consumption,
for the express purpose of having strangers
take it, respondents could have had no
reasonable expectation of privacy in the
inculpatory items that they discarded." (486
U.S. 35 1988).

Case III: Everything in Between

Clearly murkiest case.

As of yet there is no clear precedent on this
issue and a lack of parallels in the precedent
that does exist.

Legal Academics: Four prong

Box Test

“Box Test”

The four prongs are:

the Political Prong

the Moral Prong

the Teleological Prong

the Deontological Prong

Political Prong

Impact on social institutions?

How might the recognition of such a right
affect a judicial system?

What would the consequences be for the
social and judicially endorsed principle of
personal privacy?

Moral Prong

Is it "fair" to hold the use or possession of
RFID containing product to constitute a
waiver of privacy?

Is it fair to require that, as the price of
enjoying the benefits of a context
sensing application in one's home, one must
forgo a right to privacy that one would
otherwise have?

Teleological Prong

How will the goal of maintaining the status of
the home as the central case of privacy be
furthered by distinguishing the privacy
interests in the RFID tag data depending
upon the room from which it originated?

Deontological Prong

For the purposes of the mutual access/joint
control rule, does the presence of the RFID
transceiver constitute shared access and
control over an individual's bedroom?

Legal Conclusions

No legal liability for passive RFID devices.

Test is an Academic Solution to an Academic

Experts confident passive RFID is physically
incapable of breaching 10 foot parameter.

However, analysis may unfold and emerge in
context of active RFID.




employee training costs, dubious value

level tracking

software/hardware difficulties

Privacy an issue


Supply chain

value is worth the expense

Privacy not an issue (the customer asked for it)

Some correlation between Push & Failure, and

Pull & Success

Where RFID is not successful

Level Tracking in the Retail Industry

This shows no promise anytime in the near future

Pallet and Case Level tracking.

Cost is too high for most manufacturers

RFID tags are not at the 90% reliability rate

RFID manufacturers are working to correct known problems.

No Standardization

Problems for Prada

After two years Prada is re
evaluating their Epicenter

Employees refuse to learn how to use the
technology and claim the store is just too crowded to
give the personal attention

The smart closets rarely recognized the RFID tags
and when they do the systems crash

The hand
held readers are placed behind the
counters to keep tourists from playing with them

Customers aren’t comfortable with the RFID tags

Solutions (Benetton?)


Tesco has dedicated a section of their website to explaining
RFID technology to their customers


Cooperation among RFID manufacturers and support


Manufacturers need to work to improve known bugs such
as the inability to read RFID tags through liquid and metal

Higher Volumes

Cost will decrease as volume increases

Where is RFID proving to be

Development of RFID Smart tags that allow
consumers to do multiple actions and save

Animal microchipping

Containing the spread of disease

Tracking SARS contacts

Why is RFID successful in these

When the perceived benefit outweighs the cost of
losing privacy, consumers are willing to bow down.

Payoffs of saving time and versatile uses for the
consumer outweigh the privacy concerns (ex.
Octopus card)

Privacy of the consumer is not directly threatened
(animal microchipping)

Cases in which RFID has the potential to contain
disease (tagging SARS contacts)

Solutions to Consumer Concerns

Kill tags at checkout

The “Faraday Cage” approach

Active Jamming

“Smart” RFID tags

But the most promising solution being explored
right now.....

Blocker Tags

Universal vs. Selective

Low implementation cost

Prototype released in February by RSA Laboratories
and MIT

Advantageous over the “Kill Tag” approach, useful
aspects of RFID for consumers are retained

Current concern: Are these solutions biased towards
the technology elite?

RFID business case


Build a solid team

Not just an IT problem

Involve customers and suppliers

Educate team and management

Identify opportunities

Identify all possible applications

Evaluate benefits

Visibility, customer satisfaction, process
disruption, core

RFID business case


Identify and analyze candidate deployments

Run the business (RTB) costs

Grow the business (GTB) costs

Transform the business (TTB) costs

Examine financial impact

Create the blueprint

Consider partnering a consulting/technology firm

Find the bottom line

The Big Picture

Examine RFID in its entirety

Do not play “follow the leader”

Standards will change/be set

Costs of tags and readers will change

Tag capabilities will change

Revisit/revaluate decisions periodically

Failure can affect relationships and/or brand

The Future of RFID

Active RFID is a success today, and will
continue to be in the future

Passive RFID is coming in a big way

driven in retail & personal use

Educate consumers

Resolve privacy issues, both real and perceived

Focus on what adds value for the customer

driven in business use

Improvements to tracking hardware/software


The Lunatic Fringe

Population tracking

Involuntary tagging for “national security”
purposes (similar to livestock tagging)

Tracking cash transactions

Euros have RFID

U.S. dollars have “metal strip”

“Mark of the Beast”

Biblical references in the book of Revelation