Aug 182010
 August 18, 2010  Posted by  Featured News, Surveillance

Spencer Michels reports:

In a recent NewsHour report on cybersecurity, we showed security expert Chris Paget, shown above, climbing on a 29th floor hotel balcony in Las Vegas to demonstrate how he could read radio frequency identification tags at “long distances.” The RFID tags are embedded in various cards people carry such as access cards to a building or embedded in products at stores. Paget mounted powerful antennas on the balcony, and aimed them at the cards far below. He claimed that with enough power, he could read what was on the cards. And he warned that such cards, issued by the government and businesses, could help identify people and divulge other information about them.

But the editor of a magazine that reports on the RFID industry, Mark Roberti, objected to our story, saying that Paget’s presentation didn’t show RFID in a true light. He said 30 to 40 million people carry RFID tags on their windshields to allow them to cross bridges, and more carry them in their wallets, and there is not a single example of anyone who had their privacy infringed because of the tags. Roberti says police have not documented a link between identity theft and RFID. And, he continued, even if someone could read the tags, they wouldn’t get much information.

Read more on PBS NewsHour.

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