27
Sep
2004

Hidden RFID Tags

I have disturbing news from the RFID front lines. CASPIAN has uncovered evidence of industry plans to deploy RFID tracking devices in consumer clothing items.

A $600 million company called Checkpoint has developed prototype labels containing RFID spychips for Abercrombie & Fitch, Calvin Klein, and Champion sportswear. These tags contain tiny computer chips with unique ID numbers that can be read remotely by anyone with the right equipment.

CNET picked up the story on Friday, September 24th. You can read it at:
http://networks.silicon.com/lans/0,39024663,39124341,00.htm

Photos of the spychipped clothing labels can be seen on our website at:
http://www.spychips.com/press-releases/checkpoint-photos.html

Potentially, people wearing the tagged clothing items could be identified and tracked as they pass through Checkpoint-equipped doorways and store portals, as they stand near Checkpoint's retail "smart shelves" containing hidden RFID reader devices, or when they enter Checkpoint's planned RFID "smart zones" in stores.

Checkpoint has an infrastructure of anti-theft reader devices already in place at stores and libraries around the world. (Look at the bottom of the next security portal you pass through and you may see the Checkpoint name.) These portals could be retrofitted to silently read and record the unique ID numbers contained in Checkpoint's new clothing tags, or in any other item Checkpoint may be tagging.

Since there is no legal requirement for companies to tell consumers when products they buy contain RFID tags, this may already be happening.

Earlier this year, Checkpoint announced the purchase of 100 million RFID tags from vendor Matrics. Nearly a year ago, a senior Checkpoint executive boasted that "the technology is ready to pilot," and revealed that "we're working with forward-thinking consumer product goods manufacturers and retail clients on pilots."

CASPIAN, on the other hand, will be working with consumers on an aggressive response to this privacy threat. Roll up your sleeves and get ready for a good fight.

In freedom,

Katherine Albrecht
CASPIAN Founder and Director


Links to more information:

Checkpoint's RFID-laced clothing labels
http://www.spychips.com/press-releases/checkpoint-photos.html

CASPIAN's press release:
http://www.spychips.com/press-releases/checkpoint.html

CNET article: "Retailer to put RFID chips in all clothing"
http://networks.silicon.com/lans/0,39024663,39124341,00.htm

Checkpoint is "the world's largest integrator of RFID technology into
consumer product packaging"
http://www.checkpointsystems.com/content/news/press_releases_archives_display.aspx?news_id=59

Checkpoint and GOLIATH to use RFID for point-of-purchase advertising
http://www.checkpointsystems.com/content/news/press_releases_display.aspx?news_id=61

Checkpoint buys 100 million RFID tags from Matrics
http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/853/1/1/

Checkpoint ready for pilots, demos "smart shelf" and "smart zone"
http://www.checkpointsystems.com/content/news/press_releases_archives_display.aspx?news_id=58

Learn more about "smart shelves" from our Gillette boycott site
http://www.boycottgillette.com/spychips.html


Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (CASPIAN) is a grass-roots consumer group fighting retail surveillance schemes since 1999. With thousands of members in all 50 U.S. states and over 30 countries worldwide, CASPIAN seeks to educate consumers about marketing strategies that invade their privacy and to encourage privacy-conscious shopping habits across the retail spectrum.

For more information, see:
http://www.spychips.com and http://www.nocards.org

You're welcome to duplicate and distribute this message to others who may find it of interest.
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