Sunday, July 15, 2007

remove before washing or wearing: RFID tags and you

i've finally realized they are RFID tags. i had bought some clothing yesterday and was annoyed that i had no scissors with which to cut them off. i asked my roommate for some scissors and we proceeded to have a conversation about the purpose of the tags. i conjectured that the tags are there to keep you from washing the clothing and then returning it. this conjecture holds for the tags that could be little packets of ink. i remember, however, that my roommate aliza once said she never cuts off the tags and is fine.

after cutting off one of the tags i held it up to the light and made a shocking discovery. it was an RFID tag! you know, the ones that are stuck on to various things you buy from target-like stores and fall out books you order. (RFID stands for "radio-frequency identification" and the tags, which store information, can be read from several meters away and does not have to be in the line of sight of the reader. for basic information, read Wikipedia on RFID. )

i found it very interesting that my clothing comes with RFID tags. it makes a lot of sense, since it is more effective than using bar codes. i am sure they use the tags for purposes of scanning etc. within the store, but tagging clothing with RFID potentially gives stores much more power. if you don't cut off your tags, they could potentially do a lot more (possibly unethical things) to track how/where the clothes are being worn.

one lesson is that RFID tags are much more powerful than barcodes. first of all, you can't just cover it up. i quote source 1:
"Surveillance is getting easier, cheaper, smaller, and ubiquitous. Sure, it's possible to destroy an RFID tag. You can crush it, puncture it, or microwave it (but be careful of fires!). You can't drown it, however, and you can't demagnetize it. And washing RFID-tagged clothes won't remove the chips, since they're specifically designed to withstand years of wearing, washing, and drying. You could remove the chip from your jeans, but you'd have to find it first."

a more practical thing to get out of this is you should remove your tags so that you don't set off alarms when you go into stores. (please see source 3 below.) apparently many people have had the embarrassing/inconvenient experience of setting off alarms because they neglected to remove tags.

in reference to a conversation i had with aliza and josh sharp last summer about the government's ability to track us, i would also like to quote source 2 to show that i am not unnecessarily paranoid:
"At this point, you can be triangulated and tracked based on your cell phone signal, even when you're not talking on it. "


references:
  1. RFID chips are here - article about history of RFID, its current uses, etc.
  2. an informative forum post about this stuff
  3. Old Navy Tags - a guy sets off the alarm b/c he did not remove a tag from jeans he'd bought several months prior to the incident
  4. Benetton Clothing to Carry RFID Tags

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would like RFID tags in my expensive dress shirts so I can track them as they go and come back from the laundry. Any suggestions?

Pam Masters said...

Has anyone ever rec'd a burn from the rfid tag? I didn't realize my jeans had a tag on it and now I have a burn on my hip where the tag was on.

David Smith said...

Contents of this website are good and appreciative. Congratulation

Clothing Labels
Woven Damask Labels

David Smith said...

Contents of this website are good and appreciative. Congratulation

Clothing Labels
Leather Labels

Small and Unique said...

Fantastic post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You must continue your writing. I'm confident, you have a great readers' base already! Baby girls clothes online boutique

help here said...

Materials like wool, silk and other specially materials really have to be dry cleaned or they'll most likely be ruined immediately in the wash. However, many people don't realize that many stubborn stains that refuse to be cleaned are very easily removed by the dry cleaning process help here.

Robert Nash said...

Care about less, care about freedom. Great post as usual! Also I'd add my two cents on accessories. Think about a minimalist slim wallet. Nothing ruins the lines of a suit or blazer and makes you look more like a doofus than when your pockets are crammed with stuff - a wallet, a cell phone, keys, a calculator, a calendar, pens, etc. I favor Kisetsu wallets, the classic bifold reinvented a feature-packed Premium minimalist wallet made with Full Grain Nappa Leather and RFID protection. How about you?

Comment

Clothing Tags said...

This is nice blog post, really I read and like this great post.

Clothing Labels Hang Tags Fashion Labels

Indian Fashion Institute said...


Thanks for sharing this blog post. This is very informative for who is in the fashion designing.
About me:
We are the Best Fashion Designing Institute in Chandigarh and offering all best fashion designing courses in Chandigarh.
You can take a look on our website: Best Fashion Designing Institute in Chandigarh

Laundromate Vijayawada said...

Very informative blog
Laundromate (StarWhites) Vijayawada is a leading laundry service company. We offer excellent clothing, pressing and cleaning services to both household and corporate clients respectively. Laundry with us is a time saving, convenient and affordable undertaking.
Dry Cleaning Add Life to your Clothes. Dry Clean Them Often.
We wash, dry and iron your clothes. Save your time and energy. We deliver on-time.
Free Pickup & Delivery
dry cleaning service vijayawada

Shweta jain said...

Nice Post dear ……keep posting!!!
Birthday Dri Fit T Shirts

Herry Milson said...

I am glad that I saw this post. It is informative blog for us and we need this type of blog thanks for share this blog, Keep posting such instructional blogs and I am looking forward for your future posts.
ตัดสูท

Latika sharma said...

Great Post Dear………keep posting!!!
T shirts

loveyourwatch said...

I am thankful to this blog for assisting me. I added some specified clues which are really important for me to use them in my writing skill. Really helpful stuff made by this blog.
ตัดสูท

loveyourwatch said...

This is really nice to read content of this blog. A is very extensive and vast knowledgeable platform has been given by this blog. I really appreciate this blog to has such kind of educational knowledge.
ผิวติดสเตียรอยด์

Helish Lawera said...

Now day, everything is going to find a new but well settled and successful stream for their career. When I came to this blog, I really impressed by all the knowledge points mentioned here. Thank you for this assistance.
ชุดสูท

Helish Lawera said...

Graceful written content on this blog is really useful for everyone same as I got to know. Difficult to locate relevant and useful informative blog as I found this one to get more knowledge but this is really a nice one.
โรงพิมพ์หนังสือ

Helish Lawera said...

creativity of writer is purely impressive. It has touched to the level of expertise with his writing. Everything is up to the mark. Written perfectly and I can use such information for my coming assignment.
คอนแทคเลนส์สี

Helish Lawera said...

Your post is providing some really good information. I liked its essence and enjoyed reading it. Keep sharing such important posts about this blog and its much more helpful for us .
แอร์ผ่อน

Helish Lawera said...

This blog is really helpful to deliver updated educational affairs over internet which is really appraisable. I found one successful example of this truth through this blog. I am going to use such information now.
พิมพ์ สติ๊กเกอร์

Helish Lawera said...

I welcome all the suggestion mentioned in this blog related to new learning skills. It is definitely going to help me to adopt new exited way of learning. I think, others will also feel helpful this blog for their needs.
ตาแห้ง

fremantlecounsellor said...

I am thankful for this blog to gave me much knowledge regarding my area of work. I also want to make some addition on this platform which must be in knowledge of people who really in need. Thanks.
หิ้งพระโต๊ะหมู่บูชา

fremantlecounsellor said...

Sometime few educational blogs become very helpful while getting relevant and new information related to your targeted area. As I found this blog and appreciate the information delivered to my database.
Bitcoin คือ

Latika sharma said...

Beautiful Post!!
Designer Hoodies online

Carpet Cleaning said...

Informative tips
It's a really useful post and amazing tips to do dry cleaning.
Commercial Cleaning Services Brisbane|Office Cleaning Services Brisbane|Office Cleaners Brisbane

Unknown said...

Good informative post, thanks for sharing.

Vintage inspired embroidery
Vintage embroidery
Bohemian clothing
Embroidered tops
Hand embroidered tops

Dealsothon com said...

Buy Bhaidooj Special Kid's Wear At Lowest Price in India
Click Here :- Cheapest price in India