Feeds

German revolt against RFID

Metro scraps trial

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.