Spychips has just reported that senior executives from American Express, have ‘taken a broadside’ with the discovery of the banking giants plans for people tracking. American Express representatives attended a meeting with CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) in July 2011 to review the current situation. Since this meeting, American Express has committed to review its entire patent portfolio ensuring that, “…any people-tracking plans be accompanied by language requiring consumer notice and consent.”
A spokesperson for Spychips reported that American Express had filed a patent application entitled, “Method and System for Facilitating a Shopping Experience.” Spychips have described this patent as, “…a Minority Report style blueprint for monitoring consumers through RFID-enabled objects, like the American Express Blue Card.” Spychips also state the following in respect to the proposed patent:
According to the patent, RFID readers called “consumer trackers” would be placed in store shelving to pick up “consumer identification signals” emitted by RFID-embedded objects carried by shoppers. These would be used to identify people, track their movements, and observe their behavior.
The patent also suggested such people-tracking systems could “be located in a common area of a school, shopping center, bus station or other place of public accommodation.”
Unbranded, anti-skimming, RFID blocking, credit card and e-passport sleeves – at last there’s a UK supplier!!!
Until very recently it seemed impossible to purchase cheap unbranded paper-based Tyvek RFID sleeves from a UK supplier. BUT now multi-packs have arrived on eBay! (These fit all major UK passport, credit, debit, Oyster, transport and similar sized cards.)
This is a great development and certainly the best option for those on a really tight budget.
For those of you that are keen to explore some of the ‘darker’ issues associated with contactless credit, debit, passport, ski-pass and door-entry security systems then the following resources may prove useful. Published here by kind permission of the author, are eighteen objective case studies (in six folders) that present both sides of the argument for RFID technology.
Download each (600KB PDF) by clicking on the associated images below.
If you wanted to reproduce these, I suggest making contact with the author/s.
This is an extraordinary article that would appear to suggest that the US military takes the business of ‘skimming’ very seriously, not least in respect of its RFID enabled ID passes; issued to all personnel. You cannot help but ask the question, “…if contactless technology is 100% bulletproof against unauthorised attack – then why are the US Department of Defense introducing shielding sleeves?” Go figure!
On Wednesday 27th October, 2010 RFID News broke the following sensational story.
“Government officials in New Delhi will soon make it mandatory for all vehicles to be equipped with RFID cards that will be used to make road toll payments, according to Hindustan Times. The government accepted the recent proposal and said it will ensure that it is being implemented within 18 months. Initially it will be used for toll collection on national highways, subsequently it will be used for other purposes also, including toll collection on state highways,” said Kamal Nath, road transport and highways minister. “Commuters can preload whatever amount they want and make the payment when required. Officials have also instructed manufactures that all new vehicles will come with RFID chips installed.”
India is a country that has a clear sense of its own destiny, and one that has always been keen to position itself as a technological innovator. It used to be the case that Britain transfered its knowledge in the direction of emergent Eastern economies, in return for significant finanicial gain. Perhaps this article suggests we are at the beginning of a new chapter in the flow of information between countries, since widespread adoption of RFID enabled vehicle tracking in the UK is highly likely in years to come. Where India is leading on this, we seem likely to follow; which surely begs the question, “…do you want your every movement tracked by the State? If not, what can be done about this within the scope of our current legislative framework?”
If you’ve been issued with a new RFID enabled, or ‘contactless’ ski pass then there’s a risk that it may be intercepted, read or skimmed, and without your knowledge. A new generation of ski and lift passes are already being rolled out across US and European resorts, and you may not realise that contained within them is a small passive RFID microchip. This bit of clever kit enables swift access to the slopes, and other services off-piste. Great news!
The not so great news if you don’t want marketers to track your every movement, and transaction, whilst on holiday. Furthermore, it’s well documented that unscrupulous hackers have been able to skim these ‘contactless’ passes using low-cost readers freely available on line. The consequences can be that your personal information and movements can be tracked and exploited for commercial or criminal gain.
Keep your personal information safe
Shield your data from readers designed to track your movements
Have a look about for Ski pass shielding products – there are loads on offer and many reasonably priced