Wednesday, April 27, 2005

RFID: UHF - Big Brother's Big Brother

If you haven't yet set a place at your mental table for track and trace technology, that's OK. You're going to need a whole separate table.

The EPC Global Community's latest RFID evolution is the UHF RFID tag. Meet Generation 2.

RFID's new fair-haired boy is bigger and faster than the now-familiar HF RFID technology (which is bigger and faster than the original LF RFID).

Generation 2 UHF tags offer data read rates of up to 640 kbits and 256 bit EPCs (Electronic Product Codes). Compare that to traditional HF tags with max read rates of 149 kbits and 96 bit EPC, and you may understand why some industries (including retail, pharmaceutical, Department of Defense, Homeland Security) are excited about UHF RFID.

And if you do understand, can you explain it to me? I'm not convinced that my grocery store or my pharmacy or my local schools need track and trace technology at all. I'm certainly not convinced that they need turbo track and trace.

Wal-Mart representatives repeatedly and publicly insist that the retail giant is going to use RFID simply to streamline inventory and supply chain operations.

No one needs a 256 bit EPC to do that.

Sally Bacchetta - Freelance Writer

Saturday, April 16, 2005

RFID Glossary

If you're a relative newcomer to RFID you may feel like you joined a social revolution already in progress. You did!

Here is a comprehensive RFID glossary to help you orient yourself.

RFID technology represents tremendous potential, both positive and negative. If we don't direct its development, someone else will.

Be an active citizen of your world. Whatever your perspective on RFID, get involved!

Sally Bacchetta - Freelance Writer

Thursday, April 07, 2005

RFID: Passport to Identity Theft?

The U.S. State Department recently published an Electronic Passports proposal. According to Jim Harper of, "The State Department intends to start issuing RFID-chipped passports, with unencrypted personal information on the chips, later this year."

Unencrypted personal information. Why? Because even though encrypted data is more secure, it takes longer to read. The U.S. State Department is willing to sacrifice security -- of your personal information -- for facility.

We are past the point of debating whether or not RFID is encroaching into our personal lives. It is. We are past the point of debating whether or not RFID represents significant potential loss of personal privacy. It does. And it is not going away.

Sadly, we seem to be resigned to debating degrees of security.

Are you going to do, or just be done to?

Privacilla's comments on the U.S. State Departments Electronic Passports proposal can be found at: is an innovative Web site that captures "privacy" as a public policy issue. Privacilla has been described as a "privacy policy portal" and an "online think-tank."

Sally Bacchetta - Freelance Writer

Sunday, April 03, 2005

RFID In Flight

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is moving forward with plans to incorporate RFID into the monitoring of aircraft traffic and safety.

FAA representatives participated in the 2005 Global Aviation RFID Forum on March 29-30. Read FAA to Issue RFID Policy in 60 Days for more information.

Sally Bacchetta - Freelance Writer