Feeds

German revolt against RFID

Metro scraps trial

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Metro Group has abandoned a trial of RFID radio tags, after protests by digital rights activists.

The German retail giant has tested RFID tags at its Extra Store in Rheinberg, near Duisburg for nearly a year. The chips, hidden underneath price tags for cream cheese, shampoo and razor blades, were read over the air using radio waves, without physical contact and unnoticed by customers.

On Saturday FoeBuD, a digital rights group, demonstrated in Rheinberg against RFID tags. Only 40 protesters turned up, but they scored an immediate success. Metro is to replace 10,000 RFID-"enhanced" customer cards at the Rheinberg store.

But surely it won't be too long before the retailer returns again to RFID. This a key plank in its 'Future Store' platform, which calls for RFID tagging across the entire process chain, starting with 100 suppliers, ten central warehouses and approximately 250 stores. Around 40 IT vendors are involved in the roll-out, including IBM, Intel, SAP and Microsoft.

RFID technology creates new opportunities for spying on consumers. None of the chips are destroyed at the shop exit, so they continue to be readable by any interested party.

Katherine Albrecht, director of US-based CASPIAN (consumers against supermarket privacy invasion and numbering), said: "Consumers are telling businesses like Metro, Procter & Gamble, and Gillette that they won't tolerate being spied on through products or services."

Last week, a California state lawmaker introduced a bill to force businesses to tell customers that they're using RFID systems which can collect information about them.

Also last week RSA Security demoed a prototype of a RSA Blocker Tag technology at its user conference. The device prevents readers from performing unwanted scanning of people or goods. ®

Related stories

RSA shows RFID tag blocker
MS demos Jetsons' kitchen on FoodTV
European retailers have the hots for RFIDs
Intel: rethinking RFID?
MS joins in German chain's RFID Future Store project

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.