RSA introduces RFID blocker technology

RSA Security has demonstrated a prototype of the RSA Blocker Tag technology at its data security conference in San Francisco....

RSA Security has demonstrated a prototype of the RSA Blocker Tag technology at its data security conference in San Francisco.

When completed, the tag will enforce consumer privacy when dealing with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, RSA said.

Without any disruption to normal RFID operation, the Blocker Tag - which is a form of an RFID tag - was designed to prevent readers from performing unwanted scanning and tracking of people or goods.

RSA said RFID blocking technology is essential to disallow anyone that happens to have an RFID reader to gain access to sensitive information.

The blocker technology works by "spamming" any RFID reader which, without the proper authorisation, tries to scan the tags, creating a hostile environment for the reader.

The company added that when the blocker tag is removed from a product, the RFID tags would work normally, but when RFID tags are in the coverage area of a blocker tag, the RFID tag and the information it contains would be shielded from the reader.

Jeff Woods, an analyst with Gartner, said that there are some legitimate concerns in the market with RFID technology.

The initial response from retailers regarding these worries is that the RFID tags will be killed or disabled once the sale has been made, but Woods said that although disabling the tags would eliminate all of the privacy concerns, it would also eliminate all of the consumer benefits or post-sale benefits that enterprises were going to gain from using RFID tags.

Lindsay Bruce writes for

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