Beijing scales back RFID ticket plans
Still embedding passport, address and email though
RFID technology won't feature on every ticket for the forthcoming Beijing Olympics - but those that do have it will contain an embedded chip with the holder's home address, passport details and email address.
Initial plans for embedding an RFID tag in all 6.8 million tickets have had to be scrapped, along with futuristic ideas about tracking every visitor to the games via the tags. However, the most sought-after tickets to the opening and closing ceremonies will be RFID-enabled.
The news comes from Chinese media blog Danwei, which quotes sources within the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, and reckons the tags are coming from a company spun off from Tsinghua University.
Plans originally called for punters' photographs to appear on the tickets, but the logistics of managing 6.8 million photographs proved beyond even the Chinese, so most tickets will be the traditional printed job with only standard anti-counterfeiting measures.
Still, tickets used for the opening and closing ceremonies will still sport RFID tags, with the details of the holder stored in a machine-readable format. Whether every event-goer will be checked on entry remains to be seen, and there are concerns that checking passports on entry will slow up proceedings unacceptably, so random checks might be more effective.
The tags will certainly make counterfeiting the tickets much more difficult - potential forgers may decide to stick with the easier non-RFIDed tickets. ®
They'll probably have RFID tickets for Glastonbury.
Though thinking of it, ski resorts have had RFID lift passes that flash your photo on a screen in the lifties hut since the 90's. I guess the Olympics would be not harder (Verbier has 40,000 plus visitors in peak weeks).
This is old news - the RFID chips was removed from all but the opening and closing ceremony tickets over a year ago; well before the first round of tickets even went on sale here in china. There haven't been any real checks in place to ensure there is any quality to the data that they are given so you could give them anyones photo.
And to the previous comment: one billion rfid tags is nothing; places like hong kong airport would go through that in less than a year. The tagging of animals only applies to those destined for the olympic village, and nobody believes that it is actually being done as the farms don't have the technology.
Places like Shenzhen (Special Economic Zone just over the border from Hong Kong that was a small fishing village) are the exception not the rule - until a couple of months ago the Beijing subway relied on paper tickets being ripped to get in.
China doesnt have the infrastructure or the experience to handle it on such a large scale. The cost is nothing here, and while they may be producing more than anyone else, they produce them for outside china.
Just a bit of info for those who aren't aware, if you want to protect your privacy a little better, there are RFID shielding wallets you can buy, so only when you remove the ticket from there to present on entry will details be made available, but no other time than when you choose to.