Radio Frequency IDentification RFID Technology Presented by Elaine Contant University of Arkansas Libraries – Fayetteville December, 2008
Radio-frequency identification [From Wikipedia] Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags. The technology requires an RFID reader and an RFID tag. An RFID tag is an object that can be applied to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person for the purpose of identification and tracking using radio waves. Most RFID tags contain at least two parts. One is an integrated circuit for storing and processing information, modulating and demodulating a radio-frequency (RF) signal, and other specialized functions. The second is an antenna for receiving and transmitting the signal. There are generally two types of RFID tags: active RFID tags, which contain a battery, and passive RFID tags, which have no battery. An EPC RFID tag used by Wal-Mart.
Tags currently being used in Libraries. Tags can contain vital information Without including ‘security information’. The tag information must be related to the Library’s database system so records can be updated. Innovative uses a third party software program to relate the information on the tag to the Library’s database system.
Major Concerns and Security Risks Regulation and standardization There is no global public body that governs the frequencies used for RFID. In principle, every country can set its own rules for this. The frequencies used for RFID in the USA are currently incompatible with those of Europe or Japan. Furthermore, no emerging standard has yet become as universal as the barcode.
Major Concerns and Security Risks • A MAJOR concern is the issue of privacy. • Because RFID tags can in theory be scanned and read from up to 350 feet sensitive information could be collected from an unwilling source. • Library RFID tags do not contain any patron information and they use a frequency only readable from approximately ten feet. One simple option is to only let the book transmit a code, that will only mean anything in conjunction with the library's database. • Stolen books could be traced even outside the library. Removing of the tags could be made difficult if they are so small that they fit invisibly inside a (random) page, possibly put there by the publisher.
Major Concerns and Security Risks RFID data may be read-only and in some cases read/write, but it lives in the same environment as viruses and worms that permeate the Net. Srini Krishnamurthy - Airbee Wireless • RFID tags become hacker target • LAS VEGAS--Privacy advocates may not be the only people taking issue with radio-frequency identification tags--merchants may have problems with a lack of security. • Low-cost RFID tags--many of which are smaller than a nickel and cost less too--are already being added to packaging by retailers to keep track of inventory, but could be abused by hackers and tech-savvy shoplifters. While the technology mostly threatens consumer privacy, it could allow thieves to fool merchants by changing the identity of goods, he said. "This is a huge risk for companies," Grunwald said during a discussion at the Black Hat Security Briefings here. "It opens a whole new area for shoplifting as well as chaos attacks."
Major Concerns and Security Risks Ford chose weak security for its keys These have not been particularly good days for the RFID business. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and RSA Laboratories have shown that the RFID used in the SpeedPass and in the keys for some Ford vehicles can be spoofed reasonably. The researchers demonstrated that the RFID chips used weak encryption keys that can be broken within a few hours. Imagine thieves scanning for car owners' encrypted keys while standing next to the car owners on elevators. The thieves then could break the encrypted keys and steal the car using normal car burglary tools, knowing that they could fool the electronic interlock into thinking they had the right key.
Major Concerns and Security Risks • Libraries: Cost Time Procedures • Collection is too large to convert and tag each item in collection • Already have procedures in place / staff trained • It would take years for the faculty/ staff / student / • patron ID changeover
Current Uses Inventory systems – especially “on time” ordering Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology has significant value for inventory systems. Notably, the technology provides an accurate knowledge of the current inventory. In an academic studyperformed at Wal-Mart, RFID reduced Out-of-Stocks by 30 percent for products selling between 0.1 and 15 units a day. Other benefits of using RFID include the reduction of labor costs, the simplification of business processes, and the reduction of inventory inaccuracies. In 2004, Boeing integrated the use of RFID technology to help reduce maintenance and inventory costs on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. With the high costs of aircraft parts, RFID technology allowed Boeing to keep track of inventory despite the unique sizes, shapes and environmental concerns. During the first six months after integration, the company was able to save $29,000 in just labor.
Current Uses • Libraries: • Check in / check out • Book check in – conveyor belt distribution
Possible Uses • Large shipments • Materials that demand special attention • Inventory • New book orders
RFID Technology Our challenge: How can we best utilize this upcoming technological tool in our Libraries other than tagging millions of items?