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Tiny chips could be very hard to spot. Especially when “printed” onto product packaging. " The vision is to move from the etched, solid metal antennas to the printed antennas ."

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Tiny chips could be very hard to spot

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especially when printed onto product packaging
Especially when “printed” onto product packaging

"The vision is to move from the etched, solid metal antennas to the printed antennas."

"Since radio waves travel through most packaging materials, packagers...could print the antenna…inside of the box. They could laminate it inside the package, or print it on the outsideand print over it." – Dan Lawrence, Flint Ink

and they re getting smaller
And they’re getting smaller.

Hitachi’s mu-chip contrasted with grains of rice

they can be integrated into paper
They can be integrated into paper

Inkode’s “chipless tag”: Closeup of Inkode metal fibers embedded in paper

another big tag 4 5
Another big tag (4.5”)

Alien/RAFSEC “S” Tag

placed between layers of paper
“placed between layers of paper”

Alien/RAFSEC “S” Tag in Bag

threat ubiquitous readers
Threat: Ubiquitous readers

Texas Instruments advises retailers to scan customers’ loyalty cards right through their purse or walletSource:

in doorways
In doorways

Image source: Copytag


Even “Thinking Carpets”

Image source: Vorwerk (Germany)

fair information principles ignored direct marketing association member companies surveyed
Fair Information Principles IgnoredDirect Marketing Association member companies surveyed:

NOTICE: 62% gather personal information without telling customers

CHOICE: 74% use customers’ personal data without asking permission


Source: Milne, George R. and Maria-Eugenia Boza (1998), “A Business Perspective on Database Marketing and Consumer Privacy Practices,” Marketing Science Institute Working Paper No. 98-110. Cambridge, MA: Marketing Science Institute.

As cited in: Milne, George R. (2000) “Privacy and Ethical Issues in Database/Interactive Marketing and Public Policy,” Journal of Public Policy and Marketing 19 (Spring), 1-6.

scandal benetton philips clothing tagging
Scandal: Benetton/Philips clothing tagging

Tags could not be “killed” as promised

Benetton told consumers the tags could be “killed” at checkout, while Philips documentation revealed the tags could only be made “dormant.”


Our response:

For more details see:

scandal secret wal mart p g trial
Scandal: Secret Wal-Mart/P&G trial

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

4-month secret RFID experiment used live consumers. Distant P&G executives used a video camera trained on the shelf to observe shoppers.

Both Wal-Mart and P&G repeatedly denied the trials until evidence was produced.


Outcome: Germans protested

Rheinberg, Germany February 28, 2004

Just for fun:Can you spot the RFID tag on the Hewlett-Packard printer box?Hint: It's "clearly labeled,"  according to HP and Wal-Mart.

©Liz McIntyre


Wal-Mart keeps employees in the dark.A Wal-Mart employee assured us this tag was "Nothing, just a label.“ She also told us the letters 'EPC' didn't mean a thing.

and now there s a book
And now there’s a book.

"The privacy movement needs a book. I nominate Spychips.” - Marc Rotenberg, EPIC

“Spychips "make[s] a stunningly powerful argument against plans for RFID being mapped out by government agencies, retail and manufacturing companies…. This won't be comfortable reading in the IT departments of major retailers and manufacturers, but it is essential.”

- Evan Schuman, CIOInsight

Katherine Albrecht, Ed.M., CASPIAN

(Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering)