Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Simson Garfinkel

A View from Simson Garfinkel

Pentagon Pushes RFID

InternetWeek.com says that the Defense Department is Slowing Down RFID Adoption, but from where I am sitting it looks like DoD is moving full speed ahead — this time with realistic goals.Specifically, DoD is saying that its top 100 vendors…

  • December 13, 2003

InternetWeek.com says that the Defense Department is Slowing Down RFID Adoption, but from where I am sitting it looks like DoD is moving full speed ahead — this time with realistic goals.

Specifically, DoD is saying that its top 100 vendors must supply RFID tags on their pallets and cases by January 2005; the top 500 vendors must comply by July 2005, and all vendors (more than 10,000) must “be on board by January 2006.”

These numbers turn out to be the same requirements that Wal-Mart recently put on its own suppilers.

Mind you — this is not item-level tagging, just cases and pallets. But what I find disturbing is that neither Wal-Mart nor DoD seems to ahve any plans for what to do about the tags once they get into soldier/consumer hands. Is the plan to let people walk around with live tags, or are the tags going to be attached to packaging so that they are thrown away when the consumable is unpacked? Either way, there are staggering implications for both privacy and security. (Just imagine what happens when the Iraqi resistance starts equipping their pipe-bombs with RFID-based triggers.)

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    Print + Digital Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

    Technology Review PDF magazine archive, including articles, images, and covers dating back to 1899

    10% Discount to MIT Technology Review events and MIT Press

    Ad-free website experience

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.