Feeds

Defense Department wants RFID tags on everything but sand

Have you seen my precious bodily fluids?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

The US Department of Defense has announced a sweeping policy to slap an electronic tag on every item in its inventory - well, almost every item.

By January 2005, the DoD will require all suppliers to place RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags on their goods. The feds hope this technology will help it keep track of massive inventories and improve transaction speeds. Government officials appear very bullish about the technology, but they do have limits on how far they are willing to take the RFID plan.

"RFID policy and the corresponding RFID tagging/labeling of DoD materiel are applicable to all items except bulk commodities such as sand, gravel or liquids," the DoD said in a statement.

Gravel suppliers rejoice.

To help contractors get up to speed on the new policy, the DoD will hold an RFID summit in February of 2004. It then plans to finalize the RFID strategy by June of 2004, giving suppliers plenty of time to tag their kit.

"This technology allows the improvement of data quality, items management, asset visibility, and maintenance of materiel," the DoD said.  "Further, RFID will enable DoD to improve business functions and facilitate all aspects of the DoD supply chain."

Many have questioned whether the benefits of RFID tags are worth the privacy baggage they bring. It may be nice for Wal-Mart or Dell to keep track of their inventory, but some consumers worry that the little hum in their razor might not always be used for the best of intentions. Why invite Big Brother in to watch you shave when the process is working just fine already?

In the case of the feds, however, it's comforting to think that they may be able to track those nuclear arms that go astray from time to time.

The Meta Group released a report earlier this year, saying that Wal-Mart's suppliers would find it almost impossible to tag all their goods by 2005. And this is with their largest volume customer breathing down their necks. What are the odds that the military complex can pull the same feat of in time? ®

Related Stories

Japan yens for RFID chips
RFID spy-chippers leak confidential data on the Web

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.