Unfortunately, businesses and governments are not the only ones interested in RFID. Civil liberties groups, hackers and criminals are also keenly interested in this new development, albeit for very different reasons. Civil liberties groups are concerned about RFID technology being used to invade people’s privacy; RFID tags enable unethical individuals to snoop on people and surreptitiously collect data on them without their approval or even knowledge. For example, RFID-enabled public transit tickets could allow public transit managers to compile a dossier listing all of a person’s travels in the past year — information which may be of interest to the police, divorce lawyers, and others.
However, privacy is not the focus of this website and will not be discussed further below. On the other hand, we are intensely concerned about privacy in an RFID-enabled world and have built an entire sister website about a device we have constructed, called the RFID Guardian, which could potentially help people protect their privacy from RFID snooping in the future. Those interested in RFID and privacy might want to check it out at www.rfidguardian.org. The website even includes a video of the prototype RFID Guardian in action.