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Hitachi's Tiny RFID Chips

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the bugged-dust dept.

Privacy 153

paltemalte writes "Hitachi has just come out with a new crop of RFID tags, measuring only 1/20 of a millimeter square. That's 1/8 the size (in linear dimension) of Hitachi's currently shipping mu-chips, which are 0.4 mm square. The new chip's width is slightly smaller than a human hair. These chips could put an end to shoplifting forever, but they could also be used by a governments or other entities to 'dust' crowds or areas, easily tagging anyone present without their knowledge or consent. Will someone come up with a surefire way of neutralizing chips that may be on your body or in your clothing?" Hard to pin down a source on this. The article cites another blog, which points to an article in Japanese.

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perfect use - lost kid finder (1)

smthngcrprt726 (994828) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026592)

maybe this could be used to find all those lost children... just implant a tag and boom, instant kid finder.... not to mention the uses the government could come up with for this

Re:perfect use - lost kid finder (2, Insightful)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026618)

Not really - the range on RFID chips is pretty small, you'd have to have readers installed everywhere, and privacy groups would be up in arms about that (not that they aren't already up in arms about the issue of RFID slowly pervading many aspects of daily life).

Re:perfect use - lost kid finder (0)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026872)

A 0.05mm square is 1/64th the size of a 0.4mm square, not 1/8th. Did submitter fail geometry class or something?

Re:perfect use - lost kid finder (1)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027822)

A 0.05mm square is 1/64th the size of a 0.4mm square, not 1/8th. Did submitter fail geometry class or something?
Apparently he paid better attention in that class than you did to the summary:
...measuring only 1/20 of a millimeter square. That's 1/8 the size (in linear dimension)

Re:perfect use - lost kid finder (1)

paltemalte (767772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027984)

Oi, I (the submitter) did not write the fractional comparisons, the slashdot editor did!

Re:perfect use - lost kid finder (2, Funny)

sunwukong (412560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026896)

Maybe the GP was thinking more along the lines of a multiple birth or George Foreman type situation: "George *beep* IV go and clean your room!"

Re:perfect use - lost kid finder (2, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026952)

you'd have to have readers installed everywhere
Well then, people would only allow that if there was some kind of boogey man so scary that they would gladly give up their freedoms at the slightest assurance that this will protect them. Of course, first you'd want to implement full deployment of a more conventional surveillance technology... CCTV cameras, for instance. But, you're right, privacy advocates old be up in arms about that, it'll never happen.

Re:perfect use - lost kid finder (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028224)

Well then, people would only allow that if there was some kind of boogey man so scary that they would gladly give up their freedoms at the slightest assurance that this will protect them.
Kraut spies. Communist spies. Terrorists. Sex offenders. Children.

Of course, first you'd want to implement full deployment of a more conventional surveillance technology... CCTV cameras, for instance.
England...

But, you're right, privacy advocates old be up in arms about that, it'll never happen.
-1 Funny

Re:perfect use - lost kid finder (2, Funny)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028830)

"Not really - the range on RFID chips is pretty small, you'd have to have readers installed everywhere"

Shhh!!! This is just a great excuse for us geeks to tell some girl trying to hide out that she should strip down and get in my shower for a full body scrub down! ;)

I can so see that happening in the next great futuristic thriller suspense movie like Minority Report.

Re:perfect use - lost kid finder (1)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027042)

nah--more likely it will just increase thieves' tendencies to put their kidnapped "treasures" inside lead boxes. That doesn't sound good for the children.

Re:perfect use - lost kid finder (1)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028138)

Lead would work, but is most effective against x rays and ionizing radiation - an aluminum or copper shielded box would work better and be a bit more practical...

Re:perfect use - lost kid finder (-1, Offtopic)

Xman73x (1032330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027476)

This is the begining of The Mark of the Beast with this strange RFID chip?.If they put this in a child or Adults then you might as well call yourself A Branded cattle read The Bible in Revelations.I will never trust Evolution over the real fact that I know that God created me and this entire planet! Not man!...Also humans were created by God not man! and its silly to even think that they think we came from Ape like creatures lol..Earth to Earth Dust to Dust.I hope this answers your concerns..peace..

Re:perfect use - lost kid finder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18028548)

Is there a -1 Incoherent Gibberish moderation mode? Just for personal reference.

Fighting back with RFID readers (4, Funny)

parvenu74 (310712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028540)

Is there something about RFID that allows only a certain set of RFID readers to be able to read the chip? What I want to know is: how do I get an RFID reader? I want mount an RFID reader in front of my house and log all of the cars that come by, when they come by, if they are staying within "view" of the RFID reader for a certain amount of time (like, say, arriving an hour after I leave for work and leaving an hour before I return), etc. Pretty much every car is going to have RFID tagging in the near future, if only by way of the RFID chips being placed in new tired these days [rfidjournal.com] , so the only "hard" part will be correlating the RFID to a person's identity, but if the RFID can trigger a video recorder then this challenge is narrowed down. Also, I want RFID stickers and/or micro-darts I can surreptitiously plant/shoot onto the neighborhood brat's skateboard so I can log and record their presence and what they're doing around my house... and above all else: I want an RFID jammer! Why? BECAUSE I'M MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!!!

Re:Fighting back with RFID readers (2, Informative)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 7 years ago | (#18029288)

No longer affiliated with this place but they have an affordable kit and are helpful with questions intersoft-us

What they didn't tell you (5, Informative)

JesseL (107722) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026604)

Most RFID chips still have to be attached to a much larger coil antenna to make a tag that will actually work.

Re:What they didn't tell you (2, Insightful)

JesseL (107722) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026898)

To elaborate, there are RFID chips with embedded antennas but they obviously have very limited range. The other issue that should be recognized by people with concerns about "crowd dusting" is just how hard it is to build RFID systems that can handle reading lots of tags at once without collisions.

Re:What they didn't tell you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18027258)

Most of the privacy concerns surrounding rfid are baseless and stem from a poor understanding of the physics involved. As mentioned in other replies to this post, RFID chips alone are pretty useless not to mention fragile and would definitely need a connected antenna or coil structure (depending on the frequency used) to operate.

Obviously with the antenna attached the tag would no longer resemble dust (and thus be clearly visible).. and yet field powered tags (which these are) are affected by several factors in the environment around them that could render them useless..

Bottom line.. even if big brother wants to track you.. he can't cause physics aint on his side!!

Covered with Hair? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18027282)

Last time I was at the hair salon and got my hair cut and was covered with hair i could still see the hair in the spots on my body that the ending brushing didn't remove. So if the devices are they say "The new chip's width is slightly smaller than a human hair." you'd still be able to tell if you were just "dusted" and could then bloody throw a bitch about it to your political leaders. So Goverment doing this unbesknowt to you is a little absurd".

However converserly being that they are that size putting them in your food without you knowing and using them as a tracking device for a short period is more pheasable, except for the fact that implanted tags need a reader that is adjacent to the chip so comsuming it i think your body would make it hard for them to get an good reading, but they could track your poop ;)

Re:Covered with Hair? (2, Informative)

paltemalte (767772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028044)

Again the slashdot editor obfuscated my post. I wrote 'the WIDTH of the RFID chip is less than the WIDTH of a human hair'. RTFA and see the images for yourself. They could easily be 'dusted' out.

Re:What they didn't tell you (1)

justthinkit (954982) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027310)

Why did parent's clarification/elaboration on his +4 insightful post get 0 flamebaited?

I think I need a vacation...

Re:What they didn't tell you (1)

JPribe (946570) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027758)

Most RFID chips still have to be attached to a much larger coil antenna to make a tag that will actually work.

A nanotube coil antenna???

Re:What they didn't tell you (1)

JesseL (107722) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027854)

Its physical size would still be dictated by the frequency being used.

Re:What they didn't tell you (2, Insightful)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 7 years ago | (#18029008)

Lucky for you Hitachi mentions the frequency: 2.4GHz. Assuming this device uses a quarter-wave dipole, you're looking at a 6.5cm long antenna. That'd be pretty noticeable.

Re:What they didn't tell you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18028758)

As with most RF systems, one needs an antenna of at least 1/4 wavelength - making the whole package larger than the chip size (viz. http://www.idautomation.com/rfid_faq.html [idautomation.com] ).

Something to worry about... but maybe not so much. (3, Insightful)

Captain Sarcastic (109765) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026610)

The people who are concerned about "crowd-dusting" have some valid concerns. It might be one of those nifty little ways of keeping track of who showed up at the protest march, or something like that.

On the other hand, I don't know what the effective range is on these RFID chips. If it is more than 30 feet, then I'd definitely worry. If it's less than 3 feet, then by-hand scanning or pass-through-booth scanning are the only ways of effectively managing that.

If it's between those two ranges, then... I wouldn't panic. Yet.

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (1)

The Anarchist Avenge (1004563) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026692)

Don't worry, we'll figure out a way to defeat these chips. Makeshift chem-warfare suits of some sort?

Oh yeah (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 7 years ago | (#18029152)

I'm picturing the reception you get, showing up at a rally in Haz-Mat gear..

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (3, Insightful)

passthecrackpipe (598773) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026712)

Unless you use a large antenna (several centimetres squared) you are talking about a range of millimetres.

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (3, Informative)

sunwukong (412560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026862)

Hitachi's current product, the Mu-chip [hitachi-eu.com] , has a supposed reading range of 400mm with a 54mm antenna [hitachi-eu.com] .

Dunno what the proposed range and antenna requirements for the new chip will be.

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027448)

If the range is similar to what you mentioned, then at best the law enforcement would only be able to know how many DVDs are currently in stock at Best Buy, tracking people with RFID would be kind of difficult with the shear number of devices using it unless these chips use a novel frequency.

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (3, Informative)

Djupblue (780563) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027628)

The reading distance is not so much limited by reader sensitivity as the amount of rf-power received by the chip. The chip has to receive enough power to operate, albeit very little. Then the chip creates a modulated reflection, that means that the more power you transmit the more power you get back. The specified reading range is not a hard limit, you can get a lot longer distance if you use a reader that put out more power than the spec states. We read rfid chips at up to about 10 meters in optimal conditions with compliant readers.

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (2, Funny)

jimbojw (1010949) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027684)

I can't wait till they combine this with body glitter...

Man: Hi honey - I'm so glad to be done with that all nighter. Boy we sure had a lot of work to do at the office.
Wife: (gets out scanner) Oh yeah? Then who's Tiffany1456xoxoxo?!

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (2, Insightful)

DigitalLogic (599056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026772)

Are these the same people they are going to use the microwave passive weapon on?

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18027252)

I haven't put any microchips in the microwave recently, but wouldn't those cancel each other out in a sparkley manner?

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (3, Funny)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026816)

you:

The people who are concerned about "crowd-dusting" have some valid concerns.

Summary:

Will someone come up with a surefire way of neutralizing chips that may be on your body or in your clothing?"


What you see as a problem, I see as a business opportunity: Everyone needs a SnowTech-1000 personal EMP! Protect your loved ones by protecting your anonymity, from corrupt governments, angry neighbors, and evil computer AIs. Pre-order[1] yours today, for only 3 easy payments of $59.95!

[1] In order to protect your national security, we may sell this information to our sales partners, such as certain national public entities.

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (1)

inviolet (797804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028940)

What you see as a problem, I see as a business opportunity: Everyone needs a SnowTech-1000 personal EMP! Protect your loved ones by protecting your anonymity, from corrupt governments, angry neighbors, and evil computer AIs.

Good idea. It would make a great companion to the Bollix jammer I just mounted on my car. Now I'm saving up for platcats and a cyberlink (+3 to hit!)...

BE RFID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18026836)

BE RFID
BE VERY RFID [cafepress.com]

Re:BE RFID (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027010)

$17.99 for a $7.80 book of stamps. Nice racket they got going there...

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (2, Insightful)

tinkertim (918832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027052)

On the other hand, I don't know what the effective range is on these RFID chips. If it is more than 30 feet, then I'd definitely worry. If it's less than 3 feet, then by-hand scanning or pass-through-booth scanning are the only ways of effectively managing that.


Here's a scary thought :

You work for some branch of the Federal Government, and you attend a protest rally. You get "dusted", and when you show up for work the next day the RFID reader you walk through (in the metal detector you pass through) alerts your bosses that you were at the rally.

That information then effects your career, or worse.

I'm sorry, but if this is true , Hitachi has lost all of my respect (yeah, like they care) .. but there is an ethical responsibility to think of "Well, what will people do with this once I invent it?" and they know it, realized it, and did it anyway. If I can think of the above, so can they, and so can whoever buys these.

On the bright side, a broad range RFID reader that oscillates from the lowest to highest frequencies could tell you if you were 'hot' , and possibly point out where on your body the 'flea' attached itself. I wonder if Hitachi will make those next? (If indeed there is merit to TFA).

Scary shit fellas. No doubt about it.

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18027578)

You've got to be fucking joking. Try this: Go to rally. Go home. Take a shower. Problem solved.

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18027756)

The gubmint wants me to take a shower! oh noes!

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (2, Insightful)

tinkertim (918832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028538)

You've got to be fucking joking. Try this: Go to rally. Go home. Take a shower. Problem solved.


Hmm, better also :

Wash your jacket (if you wore one, and never wear flannel to a protest rally), shoes, hat, backpack, etc, too, while you're at it .. and also consider that only a small fraction of the population would even understand what the heck RFID is or does, much less knowing to look for a 'flea'.

Then, hope, just HOPE the food you ate doesn't contain polymer coated versions of these that 'stick with you' until passed.

I'm kind of laughing at my own paranoia while writing this, the scary part is, this time its well founded. The only good that can come of this is millions of conspiracy nuts finally find the validation they've been searching for .. anyway you look at it : scary.

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18029272)

If this increases the rate of showering among our protest communities, I'm all for it!

Funny (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18029226)

I'm not scared, but then I'm not paranoid to a fault. And I understand the technology enough to know that your moronic "scary shit" scenario isn't possible.

See, that's how I avoid being scared by bullshit made up scenarios by retards like you, I UNDERSTAND the tech involved and make an INFORMED judgment. Try it and avoid being scared. Or remain ignorant and afraid, your choice loser.

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (1)

David_Shultz (750615) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027340)

On the other hand, I don't know what the effective range is on these RFID chips. If it is more than 30 feet, then I'd definitely worry. If it's less than 3 feet, then by-hand scanning or pass-through-booth scanning are the only ways of effectively managing that. If it's between those two ranges, then... I wouldn't panic. Yet.

I don't think you've fully appreciated the potential for people to do nefarious things with technology of this sort. I'm not trying to be paranoid, but let's just say for the sake of argument that a government body was interested in keeping tracking of people who attended a protest (I know its far fetched but humour me). First, note that their method doesn't have to be 100% effective -those in charge will be happy with a system that identifies protestors with say, 60% efficacy. Second, note that it is not at all difficult for a government to figure out a way to get a scanner within three feet of somebody. Let's just say for example, passing a law that allows installation of readers on ATM machines, or on doorways in certain buildings. Sure, if you were worried about these privacy issues you could avoid ATMs and doorways, plus you would be safe 40% of the time (assuming the 60% efficacy number is realistic), but these are hefty prices to pay for the ability to attend protests. We should be glad that privacy advocates are kicking up a fuss about this technology -we have to keep on our toes to ensure that our laws and society allows this technology to come to fruition in such a way that our rights are not put in jeopardy. This is the concern -not what specific scenarios might or might not occur as a result of the technolgies induction into society, but what we have to do now to ensure as best we can that the door is not left open for bad things to occur at all. Given the nature of the technology we are discussing, concerns over privacy are well justified.

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (2, Insightful)

JonWan (456212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027614)

I don't know if "dusting" a group of people would work very well because after the event the tags would get on anyone that passed thru the area. You would get identified as being at the event when you simply passed thru after it was over.

Re:Something to worry about... but maybe not so mu (2, Informative)

kirun (658684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028072)

Why would they bother RFIDing the crowd when they could just spray them with Smart Water [smartwater.com] ? The patrols with their hi-tech scanners could be replaced with ones wielding UV lamps.

Neutralize? (4, Funny)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026620)

You could always wrap yourself in tinfoil.. but then again, you would stick out a bit more than usual.

Microwave yourself! (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026790)

That should fry those pesky chips!

Re:Microwave yourself! (1)

frinkster (149158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027234)

Microwaving yourself may possibly cause you to stand out in a crowd more than being wrapped in tin foil.

Re:Neutralize? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18026822)

Along the lines of neutralization, I remember reading something about a talk at the recent CCC along these lines:

    http://events.ccc.de/congress/2006/Fahrplan/events /1597.en.html [events.ccc.de]

Basic idea is to carry around a powered device that can drown out the RFIDs in your vicinity. IIRC, you can also hide specific RFIDs. Of course, the usual battery-operated-device countermeasures would apply.

Re:Neutralize? (1)

WhoBeDaPlaya (984958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028800)

Bling bling baby! More bling than east and west coast rap combined.

Machine wash warm. Tumble dry. (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026670)

Also, Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Obvious solution... (2, Funny)

Cemu (968469) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026674)

Jump in the microwave for three minutes!! Just make sure that your eyes don't start on fire [prisonplanet.com] .

Not effective for all crimes (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026676)

"...but they could also be used by a governments or other entities to 'dust' crowds or areas, easily tagging anyone present without their knowledge or consent."

As we all know, you can't dust for vomit.

Microwaves? (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026678)

Well, during the discussion of RFID chips in passports, people were frequently suggesting that we throw our passports in the microwave for a few seconds to kill the chips. I'd imagine the same solution is applicable here, but for some reason I just don't think it'll fry- er, I mean fly.

Small tags have inherent limitations (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18026706)

These tags are 1/20th mm square, correct? This means they are 1e-3/20 m = 5e-5m across. This corresponds to a frequency of 6 THz or for a quarter-wave antenna something like 6/4 THz = 1.5 THz. This is a very high frequency and not the easiest to make with existing technology (especially at significant power levels). This means that querying tags of this size is probably only feasible at short range using a beam that is directed at the tag as opposed to just looking in a vague region of space. Other companies have made optically addressed tags that push this direction even further but with even worse limitations. Also, at ~1 THz the attenuation due to dielectrics (or especially water) is very high and this limits the distance over which one can practically probe the chip.

Re:Small tags have inherent limitations (2, Interesting)

Umbrel (1040414) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026954)

Besides there is the cost of the scanning equipment, I can see a supermarket putting it on their 2 or 3 doors, but for a goverment to track all the people the cost (I guess) would be too high. Of course a totalitarian megalomaniac will try to pay but increasing taxes or something but I don't think it would work anyway.

Re:Small tags have inherent limitations (3, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027104)

This is just the transciever chip; it has to have an external antenna. Elsewhere, people have discussed their current chip offerings, which have antennas in the ~50mm range. Generally they print them out in the shape of a labyrinth-like square, to take up less space, but it still increases the size pretty dramatically.

I suspect if you took the same antenna and made it into a 3d cube instead of a 2d concentric spiral, you'd probably end up with something pretty small ... still, not "dust" size.

Currency Tracking (5, Interesting)

Kaikopere (892344) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026722)

Maybe my tinfoil hat is showing, but the first thing that sprang to my mind was "Great, now they have a way to track cash transactions". RFID chips in the currency, readers in the cash registers so you don't have to worry all that much about distance. They'll sell it as a way to prevent counterfeiting.

Re:Currency Tracking (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027038)

They won't try to sell it, they'll just do it. It's not like they publicize all the features put into currency anyway.

Re:Currency Tracking (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027204)

And they're already there as a means of anti-counterfeiting.

Do you really think our government is capable of putting into place the infrastructure you'd need to "track cash"?

Every POS machine would need to have this "secert uber reader chip" installed, and have some means of connectivity to report movements.

And still, they might know someone spend a particular $20 at 7-11 for a pack of camels and a bag of chex mix, but how do they track that to a who? I guess they install the video cameras with the face-matching technology to line it up. Which woul dmake me wonder, what useful information does the cash hold, that the video camera system wouldn't?

It's just so absolutely ludicrious on the face of it. If our government was capable of even launching such a program, then we'd have much, much scarier things to worry about.

I really don't see how "tracking cash" could be any scarier, or more useful to anybody, than playing the "wheres george" game online with singles.

Nothing ties you to a note of currency, unlike cheques and credit cards.

Re:Currency Tracking (1)

bvdbos (724595) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027808)

European Currency has a rfid in it afaik, just put a banknote in the microwave and after a few seconds a little point fires up. My guess is these are rfid's...

Re:Currency Tracking (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028092)

Nope. That's probably the foil-based hologram present on all Euro banknotes.

hysterics (1)

dgr73 (1055610) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026736)

Someone comes up with a new tech that could be used for something "evil" and people shit themselves? If you're truly worried about being RFID tagged, or having stuff you're shoplifting being tagged, get scanner, locate the spot and apply a neutralizer (electricity, magnetics?). So I think there's no cause for world-wide panic quite yet.

It's quite another thing with fiber-optic cameras, which are ostensibly used by doctors for gastro- and colonoscopies. However, there is irrefutable evidence from trusted sources that this technology is a trojan horse planed by the Tau Cetians and it contains a uplink feed. Now they don't have to abduct us to do anal probes, we do it to ourselves.

Re:hysterics (2, Funny)

sunwukong (412560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026978)

a new tech that could be used for something "evil" and people shit themselves?

Damn right we did! How else do you think we're going to get rid of those RFID chips they put in our GM food?!

"Jebus -- eat some veggies once in a while!"

Re:hysterics (1)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027392)

Someone comes up with a new tech that could be used for something "evil" and people shit themselves? If you're truly worried about being RFID tagged, or having stuff you're shoplifting being tagged, get scanner, locate the spot and apply a neutralizer (electricity, magnetics?). So I think there's no cause for world-wide panic quite yet.

This is all great and everything, but with everything spiraling downwardly the way it is, you have to fake your info on every website, provide different passwords and emails so they can't track you that way, use encryption so they don't check your email, never make a phone call so they can survey you that way, not go out in public because there's public surveillance in a lot of major cities, encrypt your web traffic so they don't survey your web queries and other activity and microwave/neutralize your money and never use credit cards for purchases. Protecting whatever sense of privacy you have is becoming a full time job. The average person isn't going to even do half of this, and should an authority wish to jail them for some real or virtual crime, enough digging through the information they have on a person will probably be enough to find an infraction large enough to land them in jail. Next thing you know you make a comment about Bush and the FBI is at your doorstep. It has happened before.

Get laws outlawing that use (1)

alextheseal (653421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026748)

Hey how about this. Everytime we see a new technology, cause we are looking at this on the bleeding edge not like law makers, propose legislation outlawing those "bad"/Orwellian uses. So in this case, cool new chip, oops can be used to crowd dust, propose law making it illegal in the US for Gov/Private companies to use it like that and for kicks to sell to any other country for that purpose or if used for that purpose.

Re:Get laws outlawing that use (3, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027346)

Because these bad/orwellian ideas are usually complete fantasy from either the far right, or far left, and are usually idiotic on their face.

Seriously, do you think the US government is capable of the infrastructure needed to do such a thing? Why dust a crowd with RFID tags to ID who's there, why not take a fucking picture? Facial recognicion technology is pretty much mature. Casinos use it to flag "high rollers" as they walk in. The idea of "tagging" people like this is goofy, since the tags would easily transfer to every cat you pet, person you touch, etc, and basically generate an assload of false positives. It's a retarded idea at just about every level. If I found out the government was doing this, I'd be pissed more because of the waste of taxpayer dollars on some ridiculous goofy scheme, than the "privacy invasion" implications - though I don't see how someone who chooses to protest publically thinks he should retain any privacy.

Any particular bill banning "bad uses of technology" would be infinately long if we had to explicitly list every retarded conspiracy theory somebody comes up with.

What if these RFID tags become self aware? Should the newly sentient RFID tag being have the right to vote? Should it be illegal for an employer to discriminiate against a being made entirely of RFID tags?

What if some government agent makes a giant hammer of RFID tags glued together, then uses it to hit people indiscriminately? I think we should start focusing on this problem now.

Re:Get laws outlawing that use (1)

alextheseal (653421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028432)

So start there. Any identification is illegal at a protest. Picture, RFID, Iris Scan, whatever. We should have put the law in when cameras came into popularity, but let's get it now. See your premise is three fold: 1) It technologically can't happen. Well tech improvments allways trump such arguements. Read 1984 if you don't believe it. All of that is here now, off the shelf. 2) You have no to right to privacy in protest. I'm not concerned about privacy, but the First Amendment(full text below) "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble" Sprinkle some people, track them and their cats whatever, haress later. And dude the "falls off" issue will be solved by glue if need be. Full Text: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 3) No government will do it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_Man [wikipedia.org] "There are several conflicting stories about what happened to him after the demonstration. In a speech to the President's Club in 1999, Bruce Herschensohn -- former deputy special assistant to President of the United States Richard Nixon -- reported that he was executed 14 days later; other sources say he was killed by firing squad a few months after the Tiananmen Square protests. ..., cameras, how retro of them.

tracked source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18026840)

the source is Fuji Sankei, an online and broadcast news agency in Japan. Although the article is short it does highlight the improvements made in miniaturizing the chipmaking process to 1/64th of its previous size. While this has implications for rfid and related paranoia (is it paranoia if they are really out to get you?) it also has some possible future application for various memory related microchip design... Im impressed

How would they put an end to shoplifting? (2, Insightful)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026918)

An RF alarm at the door going off is NOT probable cause that a theft has occurred (since the dumb cashiers often forget to deactivate them after purchases, and due to false alarms). So any retails store dumb enough to allow its employees to detain a person based on such an alarm had better get their checkbooks out for false arrest, battery, and defamation claims...

Re:How would they put an end to shoplifting? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027106)

Barcodes are unique per SKU, that is, each *type* of item. RFID can be unique *per item*, so you just tie your register scanner to your inventory and security systems, and any item(that is, a particular box) that isn't marked as sold will quickly be considered probably cause.

The act of completing the sale would automatically remove the security on an item, so the dumb cashiers wouldn't be able to forget, unless you 'forgot' to pay.

Re:How would they put an end to shoplifting? (2, Insightful)

JonWan (456212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027500)

I have to agree here. I have one of these things in my videostore. It operates on 8.2 Mhz and goes off for almost no reason. Any piece of metal that is a multiple of the wavelength is will set off the alarm. Sometimes it gets so bad I just turn it off. The investment in this thing wasn't worth it as I have only had 1 (one) movie since 1986 that someone tried to steal by hiding it in their coat, I caught that one because I saw them hide it. I have many more movies go missing because people won't bring them back after renting them.

Better than Nazi Germany tatoos & punchcards! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18026934)

You know, these damn things don't help find lost kids one bit. If a kid is lost no tag that basically says his name is going to be any better than the kid telling a cop his name. I think just about everybody in the world who can talk can pretty much remember their own name.

Re:Better than Nazi Germany tatoos & punchcard (1)

whitehatlurker (867714) | more than 7 years ago | (#18029654)

I think just about everybody in the world who can talk can pretty much remember their own name.

For some reason, I find this incongruous coming from "Anonymous".

Say no to blogspam (1)

UnixSphere (820423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026938)

"Hard to pin down a source on this. The article cites another blog, which points to an article in Japanese." Stop promoting blogspam in the first place.

EASY to pin down a source. (2, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026988)

The summary says: "Hard to pin down a source on this. The article cites another blog, which points to an article in Japanese."

RTFA FFS. It has a link to Hitachi [hitachi.co.jp] , in English:

The mu-chip is Hitachi's response to resolving some of the issues associated with conventional RFID technology. The mu-hip uses the frequency of 2.45GHz. It has a 128-bit ROM for storing the ID with no write-read and no anti-collision capabilities. Its unique ID numbers can be used to individually identify trillions of trillions of objects with no duplication. Moreover with a size of 0.4mm square, the mu-chip is small enough to be attached to a variety of minute objects including embedding in paper.

Mmmm, FUD. (1)

glindsey (73730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18026990)

they could also be used by a governments or other entities to 'dust' crowds or areas


No. No, they couldn't. As at least two other posters have pointed out, these need to be attached to a coil antenna to get any sort of range on them.

While the privacy implications of smaller chips are certainly distressing, claiming the government can "dust" people with a sort of "RFID powder" made up of these chips is FUD, plain and simple.

RFID Guardian (1)

jpetts (208163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027018)

Let's hope that the Vrije Universiteit can get their RFID Guardian [rfidguardian.org] in production soon.

google translation: (1)

dotmax (642602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027062)

http://www.business-i.jp/news/sou-page/news/200702 140008a.nwc [business-i.jp] Using the cut/paste box at Google Translate we get:

Hitachi, Ltd. announced that on the 13th, size 0.05 millimeter angle, thickness 0.005 millimeters succeeded in the development of the powdered worldwide smallest most thin electronic tag which is said. You aim toward the utilization of 2 and 3 years later.

At the same company, already electronic tag "mu tip/chip" in size 0.4 millimeter angle commercialization. It was used with purpose of prevention of forgery of the admission ticket of Aichi international exposition. It has succeeded in also the development in 0.15 millimeter angle in 06.

As for the electronic tag which was developed anew, besides the fact that refined technology of the semiconductor was utilized, with the fact that among other things the electronic beam is utilized in entry of the data to the baseplate, in comparison with the existing product size in 1/64 miniaturization. Record capacity guaranteed the same level as the mu tip/chip. In addition, with miniaturization that productivity 60 times it improves in comparison with the existing product, we have assumed. .max

cookies anyone? (1)

whtmarker (1060730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027070)

"but they could also be used by a governments or other entities to 'dust' crowds or areas, easily tagging anyone present without their knowledge or consent." Going to a marketplace and being RFID tagged without your knowledge, so they can track when you go in and out of affiliate stores and subsequent visits to the same marketplace... doesn't that sound a little bit like cookies? (marketing guys love cookies). Even to the point of RFID tags only having short range, so you'd have to actually go inside the store that tagged you (or an affiliate to be read). Doing your laundry/dry cleaning would be like clearing the cookies in your browser.

Here we go again with the dust-like RFID myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18027132)

RFID chips _need_ an antenna to work at a reasonable distance (say half a metre), and such antennas at usable frequencies (from the kilohertz to the gigahertz range) will have dimensions of one or more centimeters at least. RFID tags look very much like anti-shoplifting plastic tags or foil-etched labels, and they have similar weaknesses with respect to shoplifting. In particular, booster bags (e.g. foil-lined bags) will work equally well for RFID tags as they do for other EAS tags. The RFID vendors have been trying very hard to push their stuff to the mass consumer market for a few years now but I think replacing bar codes or EAS tags is the wrong market for RFID. However RFID works very well for a lot of other applications (say, electronic public transportation badges; tracking containers or large boxes; and so on...) so it's not pure evil as some want you to believe. Of course I don't want to get chipped.

disabling chips (2)

drakyri (727902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027240)

As chips get smaller and smaller, they tend to become more and more sensitive to electromagnetic interference. ...the layer of insulation between a transistor's gate and channel is so tiny that a moderately sized EM pulse should cause it to break down permanently.

I could be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure that the EMP needed to disable these chips would be of a lower magnitude than would cause damage to a person - unless maybe they have a pacemaker.

Perhaps make like the guys in Cryptonomicon and turn your doorway into a giant electromagnet?

Let's see here... (2, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027292)

We all know that RFID can be read from geosynchronous satellites - they have shown that in lots of movies. Also, those roving satellites that they can move around whereever they are needed. I'm sure you have seen that in movies also.

So, we have a micro-sized RFID chip that will let anything be tracked from orbit, easily and without anyone else knowing about it. This technology will soon be embedded in everything from the clothes we wear to the food we eat. That would be a really simple way to get the tracking devices into everyone, wouldn't it?

Of course we wouldn't want to interrupt our movie-tech fantasy here with even the tinyest bit of reality. So we can forget about RFID having an EXTREMELY limited range and requiring compariatively large antennas to work. No, no. We all need to be extremely concerned about the Government (any government) wanting to track individual citizens. And employers wanting to keep track of people every second of every day so they can be sure they aren't giving any help to competitors or making money outside of their regular job. And how could we be concerned if we bothered to learn about RFID and how it really works. It is much better to read blogs and scary opinions of people that are in the group concensus about how dangerous this is.

Remember, it is much better to be in a group of thousands and knowing they feel the same way about something rather than being the only one with the truth. Why, you'd be all alone then!

With micro RFID tags we will need... (1)

kortex (590172) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027398)

... Electromagnetic pulse closets. don't forget to leave your iphone on the nightstand!

Instant anonymity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18027636)

If these are cheap enough, dust everything around you with every kind of RFID. They're not useful if everybody's got the same data, and multiple copies thereof.

What do receivers do with multiple chips? (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027802)

That "dusting" remark made me wonder:

Can an RFID sensor read a tag if there are dozens (hundreds, thousands, tetrazillions) of tags within range? Like space junk, will the accumulation of RFID junk eventually render the technology useless?

Neil Stephenson's THE DIAMOND AGE true at last (1)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 7 years ago | (#18027884)

..or at least we're darn well getting there.

Basement is safe (1)

biocute (936687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028190)

Will someone come up with a surefire way of neutralizing chips that may be on your body or in your clothing?

Now who's the idiot laughing at basement-bound nerd like me?

Resonance (1)

backwardMechanic (959818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028334)

These are resonant devices right? Extremely tiny ones. One decent pulse of RF at the right frequency makes lots of toast-dust. It might smell a bit funny, but they won't be resonant any more.

The obvious solution: RFID spam (4, Funny)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028350)

No need to neutralize RFID "dust" (if such a thing were really possible). Just coat yourself every morning with a good dose of random RFID tags and the government spy scanners will choke themselves silly.

Friend: "Dude, what's with all the dandruff lately?"
Me: "It's that new RFID-blocking shampoo I'm using. In addition to pro-vitamins and aloe vera, it contains thousands of random RFID particles that attach to my scalp. It also stops free radicals from damaging my natural curls, and gives me that extra level of metallic sheen."
Friend: "This explains why your hair sets of all the security alarms."

For external use only? (1)

cuantar (897695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028352)

I'd assume that a washing machine and a shower would effectively neutralize the chips. However, I can't help but wonder about accidental ingestion of these dust particle-size tags. A chip that is inhaled might stick around longer than one simply present on the skin or clothing.

blindness/etc., lawsuits (1)

danlock4 (1026420) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028416)

they could also be used by a governments or other entities to 'dust' crowds or areas
I don't think governments/etc. would want to risk the lawsuits and bad reputation they'd get as a result of lawsuits and etc. from health problems caused by miniature RFID tags getting into people's eyes, nose, etc.

Dusting... not likely (1)

unix_kill -9 (1064668) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028552)

RFID works by being activated via a RF field, then the data can be transferred to a RFID reader. The RF field/area isn't something that be a whole city, it's going to a be a small defined space. Sorry, you won't be tracking your kids with this technology just yet. Right now shipping companies use this to relay pallet information to their customers, they simply pull a pallet through a RFID frame which captures the pallet contents and relays the info. Walmart, as of a couple of years ago, is requiring their top 200 vendors to RFID tag each carton coming to them - which isn't exactly cheap!

How about getting an RFID scanner/sweeper?? (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18028818)

Seems like the obvious solution, but wouldn't that be a pretty easy way to see if you've got one on you?

An end to shoplifting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18028834)

yeah, right. I've known some people over the years that would love for the notion of "shoplifting is impossible now", I promise as soon as these are available they'll be looking for ways to circumvent it. You know what, they'll find it. It'll probably be stupidly simple too.

/cum (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18029508)

since then. More out of bed in the Most. LLok at the fueling internal tran5fer, Netscape a popular 'news is dying and its
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