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RFID Tracking Devices To Go In Consumer Clothes

Katherine Albrecht | September 28 2004

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

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