RFID tags for 2006 World Cup tickets

Organisers of the 2006 World Cup in Germany will issue tickets with smart tags in what is expected to be the largest deployment...

Organisers of the 2006 football World Cup in Germany will issue tickets with smart tags in what is expected to be the largest deployment so far of radio frequency identification technology at a sporting event.

"We view these tags as quick and secure - far more effective than a manual check process at the gates," said Jürgen Domberg, director of FIFA's ticketing unit in Frankfurt.

Information on the chip will include data about the game and seating. Whether it will also include personal information, such as name and home address of the ticket holder, is still undecided.

"We don't intend to make public exactly what information we will embed in the chip but all information will be in line with data privacy rules adopted by regulators," he said.

FIFA has no plans to track the movement of spectators, especially soccer hooligans.

"At the gates, where we check tickets, we plan to use RFID tag readers with a maximum reach of between 10 and 15cm," Domberg said.

Philips' semiconductor division is working with FIFA on its RFID project. FIFA, however, has yet to decide which company will provide chips for the ticketing project. Domberg said it would be put out to tender.

John Blau writes for IDG News Service

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