“I’d Rather Go Naked”
Spyware vs. Spy Wear: Emergence of RFID Microchips in Clothing
In part 1 of our story, we discussed how clothing manufacturers have started to embed RFID microchips into their apparel. These chips are sensors that cannot be turned off and — with readily available readers — can be used to track information about the consumer and their whereabouts.
According to RFID Talk Blog, apparel tagging represents about 80 percent of the market volume for passive RFID tags in 2015, and will continue to see explosive growth. Approximately 3.75 billion RFID passive tags were used in retail apparel last year. The RFID blog can be accessed at: RFID24-7
In 2014, Adidas was discovered inserting RFID tags into soccer jerseys. Asked by German broadcasting company Deutsche Welle whether it equipped the new shirts with the tags, the company stated: “As part of a logistics project we have tested for the first time an RFID label with a virtual number. It is a read-only label without any additional data. The label is not tied to the article number, size or color of the article and we also can’t link it with the end customer data.” However, this does not necessarily pose a problem for surveillance. The personal information is obtained when the person uses his or her credit card, bank card, shopper card, etc. to purchase the product. Now, assuming that the purchaser is the one wearing the jersey, each time the jersey is the proximity of a reader, the person is identified. Since the identification number in the RFID tag is still in the possession of the retailer and manufacturer, they can sell this information to whoever wants to track certain items. While it might not make much sense to track the whereabouts of a $12 t-shirt, retailers will have an intense interest in the habits of a Blancpain watch owner. According to IBM, “Since each RFID tag has its own unique identification number, the person’s identify needs to be made only once for the card to serve as a proxy for the person thereafter.” The full story link can be accessed at Scientific American
Read the Remainder at Medium