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Updated on December 31, 2013

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

The use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is quickly growing and your privacy as well as your security will soon be at risk. The REAL ID Act was set into law in May 2005, framed as a way to improve the security of our country, although many disagree. The REAL ID Act requires driver's licenses to include a common machine-readable technology (think RFID), within 3 years.

Corporations benefit from the use of these chips to monitor inventory levels but they have also thought of new ways to use the technology which may violate your right to privacy.

News: Walmart will start using RFID in clothes starting August 1st 2010.

Popular Books on the Privacy Concerns of RFID Chips - Corporations have plans on how to leverage this technology.

RFID Basics

RFID: Radio Frequency IDentification

From what distance can an RFID chip be read? RFID tags can be read up to 30 feet away depending on the receiver. A range of 300 feet is possible if the chip is powered by a battery. How far is your house from the sidewalk?

Health Concerns: RFID chips do transmit a signal, but proponents argue it is no worse than a radio signal.

How are the RFID chips activated? The RFID readers send a signal which modulates the chip.

Is the RFID technology new? No, it has been around for more than 30 years.

What frequency is used by RFID chips? UHF (~900 MHz).

What is the cost for RFID chips? Quantities of a million tags can cost under 25 cents. The RFID chip market is expected to explode when prices reach 5 cents per chip.

What is the cost of an RFID reader? Cost depends on the capabilities and distance the device can read chips from. I've seen prices from $150 to over $1,000.

Protect Your RFID Identity - We may be forced to use RFID but be cautious.

New credit cards are being distributed with RFID capabilities.

Who is Pushing RFID Technology - Numerous Business Opportunities Exist

RFID has the potential to improve business management throughout the value chain of a company.

Ethics and Privacy

Will you control your RFID identity or will it be in an information system somewhere? Who will have access to this information system? Can your RFID identity be stolen?

Get Your RFID Implants or at a miniumum, a RFID tattoo. - Only slightly bigger than a piece of rice.

States in the U.S. are moving to draft legislation preventing forced Human RFID implants. Wisconsin is the first state to pass a law.

RFID Technology Quick Poll

Do you believe corporations will abuse the RFID technology and compromise your privacy?

See results

RFID Problems

This technology does have some problems that the industry is trying to solve.


As with any technology, a technology can be used for good or bad. RFID can improve business processes, improve security, improve health care but what is sacrificed to realize these benefits?

Share your knowledge about the ethical uses of technology by building a lens. It's easy!

Visit my Lensography for a look at other lenses I have contributed to the Squidoo community.

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    • JeremyCrow profile image

      JeremyCrow 7 years ago

      Excellent lens on RFID tech and the possible vulnerabilities that it may present. Touches on both my interest in new technology and privacy issues. SquidLiked and Favorited the lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      RFID and other tracking software have their pros and cons so we just have to be careful when using these technologies. There's one kind of tracking technology that I find very useful: fixed asset tracking software. These software help businesses monitor their sales and inventory. Drop by the link for an overview of these tracking software. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      Great resource on RFID! I think the benefit of identification technologies outweigh privacy issues. In fact, they also contribute to privacy and security. Take for example the budding biometrics technology that brings enhanced security for sensitive files and information at our fingertips. Check out the link to learn more!

    • profile image

      LillianSmith25 10 years ago

      As with all things, tracking technologies such as RFID can be put to good or bad use. Discerning people just have to exercise discretion and carefully weigh the risks and benefits of using these technologies. I, for one, support tracking software which help businesses monitor assets and important transactions. Here's a guide on asset tracking software for those who'd like to learn more about this helpful technology. Thanks!

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 10 years ago from Detroit

      Todd, I put this page on my blog, in the blogroll, because I seem to have a lot of readers interested in the topic and this is a really good page. Best regards!

    • profile image

      jagiyadav 10 years ago

      informative lens..this lens provide valuable informations on Radio Frequency Identification..this lens provide an ultimate resources on RFID..thanks for sharing such technical stuff and 5 stars rated to your is the similar kind of useful information on Biometric ID , an interesting site about Biometrics, Biometric ID and Biometric fingerprint recognition., please visit us..

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      5 Stars for doing a lens about RFID!

      PLEASE check out my Lens! People are just asleep at the wheel! No North American Union!


    • JanaMurray profile image

      JanaMurray 10 years ago

      We have to preserve our freedom.Take Action

    • profile image

      Product_Developer 11 years ago

      The truth is that there is nothing to worry about with privacy. You leave a footprint every time you use a credit card or a loyalty card. Every channel you select on your cable box is logged. It's all in the name of improving sales. The big bad government doesn't care about you.