Tag Archives: radio frequency identification

Smartworld: Identity Profiling With Radio Frequency

Kaye Beach

September 6, 2012

Excellent, information and reference packed article!  More than you ever wanted to know about RFID.

Published Sept. 4, 2012

Julie Beal, Contributor
Activist Post

RFID, or radio frequency identification (also known as near field communication, or NFC) is used for wireless communication between devices, one of which is a transmitter and the other is a receiver. This involves the use of low frequency radio waves passing between the devices; it is in widespread use, although the impact on health is rarely alluded to. RFID is being used for a multitude of applications involving sensing and communication of information, especially ID verification using smart cards/phones, miniscule sensors known as smart dust, bodily implants, and product tracking.

There are already many well-established ID Management companies who are also using or advocating RFID and biometrics. These companies are heavily involved in the emerging global identity ecosystem (eg, the NSTIC program, the work of the ITU, and the European initiatives, including STORK), and include Accenture, IBM, Verisign/Symantec and Oracle. The industry has grown significantly and the trend looks set to continue – especially considering the heavy investment by leading corporations like Google, IBM, and Microsoft.

The smart card industry is playing a leading role in identity management, indicating that in the near future the public will expect to manage their digitised identity with extrinsic devices such as contactless cards and mobile phones.

In Denver, for instance, Auraria Higher Education Center recently decided to issue new contactless smart cards to students (over 43,000 of them), and to staff. The cards will control door access using RFID, and will even serve as Visa debit cards. The plan is to eventually integrate the cards with other applications for student services, including parking, meal payment, library checkout, event management, emergency incidents, and lab and recreational tracking.

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Oklahoma’s Getting “Sticker Tags” Sounds Harmless Enough…So What are they?

Kaye Beach


Testing to continue on Oklahoma Pikepass stickers

Published: Sep 4, 2010


New Pikepass windshield sticker tags should be available after the first of the year, with plans to get them distributed to all account holders in two years, a spokesman for Oklahoma’s turnpike agency says.

A second round of field-testing the stickers is scheduled to begin this week, said Jack Damrill, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority spokesman.

No serious glitches were reported during an initial test of placing the sticker tags on about 500 passenger cars, Damrill said.

“We saw a few things that we needed to look at but nothing major,” he said. “Mostly people getting confused about how to put the sticker tag on.”

People might also be a bit confused by what the heck a “sticker tag” is because there is little indication of what they do or how they work in this article….

Here is just a little bit of information about these new “sticker tags”;

TransCore’s new family of eGo™ radio frequency identification (RFID) products ushers in new opportunities for electronic toll collection (ETC) and makes possible the introduction of electronic vehicle registration (EVR) applications. (Emphasis added)


They are quite an upgrade from the old ones. For one thing, these “Sticker Tags” are very versatile.

They can enable Electronic Vehicle Registration and automatic citations for a variety of offenses, among other possibilities.

Easily integrated into your existing computer system, the Electronic Vehicle Registration system captures vehicle status information that can be used for subsequent communications within the DMV and also shared with other agencies

. . . authorities can quickly augment this effort,[Electronic Toll Collection-via the RFID “sticker tags”]streamline an already stressed system, and reclaim lost revenue with electronic compliance monitoring . . .

Status related to insurance compliance, as well as safety and emissions standards, can be included, increasing the efficacy of reporting processes and improving inter-agency cooperation. (maybe this is why InsureNet was canned. They don’t need them)

The information stored on windshield sticker tags can be read and compared in milliseconds to the DMV’s database to determine if the vehicle is stolen, non-compliant with governmental requirements, or if there are unpaid offenses. . . .

. . . tickets can be generated automatically through a violation processing center. (Emphasis mine)

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You might remember last year (Nov. 27, 2009) when we learned;

Oklahoma to Establish Electronic Insurance Verification System

State officials are looking at beefing up the state’s electronic insurance verification system by setting up cameras across the state to randomly record vehicle tags. Cameras set up at about 200 locations along selected highways would focus in on a tag’s bar code — found at the bottom of each tag — and record it. Bar code scanners would match the tag numbers with a national database containing real-time vehicle insurance information.


Soon after that announcement I began to question Governor Henry regarding the license plate scanning devices. No explanations were forthcoming from the Governor but in doing some searching online I soon found some interesting information that seemed to give more of the “big picture” on why these devices were so important to the state. The ALPR camera’s, were said to be needed for insurance verification purposes.

For more background on this issue, click HERE)

Here is a cost/benefit analysis for EVR and ALPR as stand alone and complementary systems done by Arizona in 2008. It gives a good overview of the many potential uses for these systems.

On January 4, 2010, I wrote;

The Alliance for Toll Interoperability is a fairly new organization comprised of representatives of the transportation industry from several states.  David Machamer, the Director of Toll Operations for the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is on the board of trustees of ATI. (Now he is the Vice Chair) This organization has come up with an interoperable toll charging plan that requires the use of ALPR (Automatic License Plate Readers) in order to be workable.

The plan also includes other schemes for tracking motorists and charging for various roadway usage fees through electronic registration tags (RFID) as well as cellular and satellite technology

According to ATI, the Alliance for Toll Interoperability (which includes “More than 40 participating toll agencies representing 24 states & 3 countries”)

License Plate Tolling is the “bridge” interoperability technology

Read more about ATI

HOW EVR WORKS (Electronic Vehicle Registration)

Through the use of a tamper-resistant, paper-thin windshield sticker tag, similar in size to current state registration stickers, vehicle compliance can be electronically monitored as a tagged vehicle passes readers strategically placed throughout the jurisdiction. . . (so not just at tolling stations but anywhere)

The system identifies the vehicle, takes a license plate photograph of non-tagged vehicles, validates the vehicle status, and authenticates the vehicle data (the Automatic License Plate Readers are a necessary part of this system)

. . . when necessary, [the system] issues tickets or citations through a violation processing system. Electronic Vehicle Registration serves as a deterrent as well as an enforcement tool. . .

. . . no partnership is better suited to offer a system that will increase revenue and cash flow for DMV and law enforcement agencies

What do you want to bet the tolling industry will assure us that our information will be kept private?

In this 2009 RFI (Request for Information) issued by ATI, some concern is expressed in finding a solution that protects sensitive information such as, data about the account holder, the vehicle and travel. I am pleased that they seem to acknowledge that this is a concern but wonder if they did, in fact, find a solution.

This is an ongoing issue with every electronic tolling system I know of and it seems the newer ones are even worse. Part of the problem though, may be out of the tolling industry’s hands because of the new policies since 9 11 that allow for more data collection by law enforcement, with less of a requirement for warrant’s or probable cause to get it.

I have emailed the Turnpike Authority and asked them for their privacy policy on the new tags as well as the policy on the video tolling as I didn’t see the documents on the website.

If you have any questions you’d like to ask, go to http://www.pikepass.com/ and click “contact us”.

Here is how it’s going down in Virginia. Privacy advocates noted that;

The toll data is linked to the vehicle owner’s name, address and other personal information.

Privacy advocates object that electronic toll collection means that drivers leave an electronic record, down to the minute, wherever they pay a toll.

The authority’s “customer agreement” with tose who use E-ZPass makes no privacy commitment.

Their inquiries about the use of data collected by the Toll Authority were met with nonsense.

. . .both authority board Chairman David A. Darlington and Executive Director Earl J. “Buddy” Croft III say they won’t release the data until a judge directs them to.

“No information comes out of the authority unless there’s a court subpoena,” Croft said.

It’s not clear what the authority’s written E-ZPass privacy policy is.

Crawford said there is one, but, asked for a copy said, “I’m not going to give it to you.”

. . .Privacy advocates say that as long as the data exists, it will be used, or misused, for purposes other than toll collection.

For example, tag readers can be located at places other than toll plazas. That’s already happening elsewhere, with sensors placed along highways in the San Francisco Bay Area to measure traffic.


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What does EVR do?

  • Enables government agencies to automatically detect and screen motor vehicles for compliance with federal, state, and municipal vehicle regulations.
  • Enables automated enforcement actions and violation processing for non-compliant vehicles.
  • Enables automation of current government processes that are dependent on manual, visual-based inspection greatly increasing effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Enables automated detection and rapid apprehension of vehicles reported as stolen or involved in other serious crimes


The ATI is not the only organization that have been applying themselves to toll interoperability and all of the attractive attendant capabilities that go along with a nationally interoperable tolling system among which are increased revenue which is a great selling point used to create support among federal and state governmental agencies for toll interoperability. But ATI just happens to be the organization working on getting Oklahoma on board and that is why I have focused on them.

This past session there were a couple of bills pertaining to the Oklahoma Turnpike authority (Oklahoma has one of maybe ten completely independent toll authorities)

One of those bills, co-authored by Sen. Randy Brogdon and Rep Jason Murphy would have required that revenue bonds or bonds issued by the Turnpike Authority have a two-thirds vote of the Legislature.  It would have also required a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raise the tolls.  That bill died in the Senate

David Machamer, Vice Chair of ATI and Director of Toll Operations for the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is also on Board of Directors of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA)

Here is a list of all Current Board Members and Staff of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.

I am not so concerned with a new system of road pricing (usage/milage tax as opposed to gas tax) but the plan does not seem to be limited to toll roads (open road tolling means just that). My primary concern is one of giving the government too much control over us. This will migrate to more and more charges for less and less freedom. A Tracking, monitoring and milking system is what it amounts to.

David Machamer, heads up the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, Vice Chair of the Alliance for Toll Interoperability and appointed to the Board of the IBTTA.

The IBTTA has a Dream:

– Fully automated occupancy verification supported by appropriate legislation for enforcement


More about ECT Electronic Toll Collection

Tattletale Trash Cans

EDITORIAL: Tattletale trash cans

Nanny-state spy chips watch your garbage

In the never-ending quest to extract money from the public, municipal busybodies have turned to spying on your trash. Cleveland wants its residents to participate in the feel-good ritual of recycling. On Wednesday, the City Council voted to expand installation of radio-frequency identification (RFID) spy chips in everyone’s dumpsters to track the trash and eventually dish out $100 fines to anyone who fails to participate.

The town’s high-tech garbage trucks are capable of weighing each trash can as it is collected. Spy chips enable the system to track precisely how much and what kind of material each home disposes on a weekly basis. Should the recycled bin’s contents fail to meet an arbitrary threshold, municipal revenue agents can be dispatched to rummage through and assess the offending homeowner’s rubbish so the fines can be levied.

Cleveland – known as “the Mistake on the Lake” – is not alone. Locally, Arlington County, Alexandria, Frederick and Gaithersburg use the same spy chips, but these jurisdictions are not issuing tickets yet. Alexandria residents didn’t believe the claim that the ultimate goal wasn’t generating fines when the issue first came up in May. Alexandria officials insisted the primary purpose was tracking heretics who don’t embrace the city’s environmentalist agenda.

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Bye Bye Wal-Mart: Wal-Mart Radio Tags to Track Clothing

Kaye Beach

July 29, 2010

What is Radio Frequency Identification?

RFID is a generic term for technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify people or objects.

Read up on Jeremy Bentham.  Bentham called the idea of natural rights “Nonsense on stilts”  He was a Utilitarian.  Utility being the point.  Bentham believed that the right or moral law or policy was the one that produced “the greatest good for the greatest number of people”

Jeremy Bentham also designed the Panopticon “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.”

The original Panopticon was design for a prison or other institution where maximum control with minimum manpower was desired over the individuals within. The panopticon as a metaphor serves to illustrate the dangers of ubiquitous surveillance that is fast becoming a reality for us today.  Read The Panopticon Singularity for a better idea of what I’m getting at.

Bentham knew how to tame the minds of men and understood that the closer your identification becomes to yourself, you, your very body, the better for the purpose of control.

He also understood the power of the gaze.

Where in your life now do you feel perfectly assured that you are utterly unobserved? You home?  How about your phone calls and emails?  Got a “smart meter” yet?

We now bank on the thought that we are insignificant and therefore not likely to be subjected to the totality of scrutiny that the state already possesses to levy upon us.   As we get more accustomed being intruded upon and  as the technologies become more accepted and advanced our insignificance will become less and less protective of our sense of seclusion.  So many aspects of  our life have already been invaded by the prying electronic eye of the state and soon no aspect will be assured privacy.  We will know that we are logged and accounted for as we go about our daily business and we will react to this just as Bentham understood we would when he designed his Panopticon.  We will act as though we are under constant scrutiny and adjust our behavior accordingly.

As a man thinks, so shall he be.

From the Wall Street Journal


Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to roll out sophisticated electronic ID tags to track individual pairs of jeans and underwear, the first step in a system that advocates say better controls inventory but some critics say raises privacy concerns.

Starting next month, the retailer will place removable “smart tags” on individual garments that can be read by a hand-held scanner. Wal-Mart workers will be able to quickly learn, for instance, which size of Wrangler jeans is missing, with the aim of ensuring shelves are optimally stocked and inventory tightly watched. If successful, the radio-frequency ID tags will be rolled out on other products at Wal-Mart’s more than 3,750 U.S. stores.

[…]But the company’s latest attempt to use its influence—executives call it the start of a “next-generation Wal-Mart”—has privacy advocates raising questions.

While the tags can be removed from clothing and packages, they can’t be turned off, and they are trackable. Some privacy advocates hypothesize that unscrupulous marketers or criminals will be able to drive by consumers’ homes and scan their garbage to discover what they have recently bought.

They also worry that retailers will be able to scan customers who carry new types of personal ID cards as they walk through a store, without their knowledge. Several states, including Washington and New York, have begun issuing enhanced driver’s licenses that contain radio- frequency tags with unique ID numbers

[…]Some privacy advocates contend that retailers could theoretically scan people with such licenses as they make purchases, combine the info with their credit card data, and then know the person’s identity the next time they stepped into the store.

“There are two things you really don’t want to tag, clothing and identity documents, and ironically that’s where we are seeing adoption,” said Katherine Albrecht, founder of a group called Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering and author of a book called “Spychips” that argues against RFID technology. “The inventory guys may be in the dark about this, but there are a lot of corporate marketers who are interested in tracking people as they walk sales floors.”

[…]Several other U.S. retailers, including J.C. Penney and Bloomingdale’s, have begun experimenting with smart ID tags on clothing to better ensure shelves remain stocked with sizes and colors customers want, and numerous European retailers, notably Germany’s Metro AG, have already embraced the technology.

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The question is;  How can these little chips sprinkled upon our individual items and purchases compromise our personal privacy?

Remember  pointillism in art class?  Little dots of color up close mean little, but create a vivid picture when you step back from the canvas.  Little bits of information provided by the radio tags individually reveal little, but when taken in context create a coherent story about you.  Your location, habits and  associations can be discerned easily as these little buggers become more and more prevalent.

Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte—1884, at varying levels of abstraction.  Even the lower right image is actually an abstraction of an abstraction: while the original work is still composed of distinct points, the image you’re seeing here was produced at far fewer dots per inch by the printer…

The message is that data points may become far, far more common, due to RFID.  While each, by itself, is next to meaningless, in vast accumulations you’ll start to discern meaningful pictures.

Or, as Lenin said, “Quantity is quality.”

To better understand how RFID tagging of individual items can compromise your privacy, see this excellent presentation embedded below.

RFID chips reports hand washing habits to the boss

Kaye Beach

Feb. 25, 2010

I was amused to find out that apparently some people think that RFID chips having the ability to track and monitor our behavior is a “conspiracy theory”  My time is short tonight so I went to the first RFID industry site that popped up and scrolled down through the news section looking for one article that demonstrates how they can and are being used to spy on you.

Didn’t take but about 2 inches of scrolling to find something suitable.

“CenTrak’s RTLS infrastructure was built to provide certainty-based room and bed-level location for both assets and people, so we had the core attributes of the required system already built into our technology,” said Ari Naim, Ph.D., President and CEO of CenTrak. “We are pleased we can help address such an important issue for our customers that not only impacts the safety of patients but also the bottom line of these hospitals that are already operating in a financially challenged environment.”

The CenTrak Hand Hygiene Compliance System can be deployed on a stand alone basis or in conjunction with CenTrak’s full RTLS. Battery powered Dispenser Monitors can be mounted to any dispenser, canister, pump, or sink to track their usage. The system automatically captures a specific caregiver’s badge ID and entry to and exit from patient care areas along with hand hygiene events, based upon hospital determined compliance business rules. The Dispenser Monitor communicates each event to the network and records each caregiver’s compliance performance. All of the recorded data is stored on CenTrak’s local or hosted server and can be accessed by compliance management and reporting solutions.


This is a really good example because the chip used is the one in their id.  A passport  would work with this very same system as well as an Enhanced Drivers License, which is  favored by DHS Sec. Napolitano.  Expect to get a chance to find out for yourself very soon!  PASS ID (basically a name change for REAL ID-sure.  we won’t notice!) is likely to be passed this year and without HB 2569 which would have prohibited the chips in our ID’s, we will surely get a chance to experience the real conspiracy.  That would the US Governments plans to keep close tabs on its flock.

I feel safer already!