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NCJ Number: 206942 Find in a Library
Title: RFID Tags: Big Brother in a Small Device
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:31  Issue:8  Dated:August 2004  Pages:128,130,133
Author(s): Douglas Page
Date Published: August 2004
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article envisions how RFID (radio frequency identification) tags, which emit unique identifying codes when read by special scanners, might be used in criminal justice contexts, as well as by private entities; related privacy issues are discussed.
Abstract: RFID is an emerging technology that is packaged in tiny tags or devices that can be as small as a grain of rice. Distinctive information can be written to RFID devices and retrieved by RFID scanners. In corrections, RFID wristbands could be used to track inmates and debit inmate accounts each time a purchase is made from the commissary. In the public safety arena, RFID tags could be used to automate vehicle registration compliance, trace and track contraband, detect counterfeit, and locate missing children. Privacy groups are concerned, however, that RFID devices could be used by private organizations as well as government agencies to track individuals without their knowledge. When placed by manufacturers or retailers in their products, it enables them to trace consumers by matching a surreptitious scan of a product after it has been purchased to purchase records, thus obtaining consumer contact information. Police might use a drive-by scan of houses to detect RFID information hidden in certain products that might be related to criminal activity, such as guns and ingredients for making bombs and methamphetamine. Federal law may be needed in order to regulate the use of RFID devices in various contexts.
Main Term(s): Police equipment
Index Term(s): Electronic surveillance; Offender tracking systems; Personnel identification systems; Right of privacy
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