Archives for posts with tag: rfid

A few years ago I was approached by someone with an intriguing question: would it be possible to restrict access to a website based on your current location? The person who asked me was busy with a project in a neighbourhood close to where I grew up. Part of it is a national monument. The neighbourhood association wanted to revive the history of the neighbourhood by creating a web page for every house in the neighbourhood. To also restore some of the community spirit they didn’t want to just set up a universally accessible website. Instead they wanted to create a page you could only visit if you were actually standing in front of the house. This would invite people to walk around in (their own) neighbourhood, visit web pages linked to certain houses, and in the process get in contact with the current inhabitants. The reason I blog about it is that they are officially launched the project (and corresponding website, last Friday. And unfortunately I couldn’t be there…

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Spam used to refer to unsolicited email, but is slowly becoming a generic term for unsolicited data. There is Spam over Internet Telephony (called SPIT). And there is Spam in Augmented Reality (maybe we should call that SPAR?). How does it work, and what are the risks?

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Just read an interesting paper on the Internet of Things and privacy by Jeroen van der Hoven and Pieter Vermaas. According to them, privacy regulation is justified, because it aims to reach the following moral goals.

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Today someone asked me why the Privacy Coach is built on NFC while all stores use EPC tags that are UHF? As a result, the Privacy Coach is of limited practical use.

There are actually two reasons for that.

First, the purpose of the demo is to show the potential application of mobile devices to help protect your privacy, in particular a Privacy Coach that helps people to manage their privacy in a world full of RFID tags. Mobile phones are the natural choice as a platform because they are protable and quite personal devices, that you carry with you all the time. Unfortunately, the only RFID interface supported by (actually a quite limited set of) mobile phones is NFC.

Second, it provides a glimpse of the future. It shows that new applications of mobile phones in the Internet of Things are possible, if only mobile phones and EPC tags could communicate with each other. Thus the Privacy Coach also serves as an incentive for either EPC to move to HF (the frequency used by NFC), or for NFC to accept UHF. Actually EPC is considering such a move to HF.

Monday, June 7, the first IFIP WG 11.2 seminar on “Pervasive Systems Security” took place in Istanbul. There were a few interesting talks and observations, that I want to discuss here.

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Basic RFID tags, like EPC Global tags, store a unique number that is broadcast whenever they come within reading range of an arbitrary reader. This poses some privacy threats because if you carry a tag with you all the time, the same serial number will show up at all the readers you pass. Today at the RFIDSec 2010 workshop I learnt that secret handshakes (See Czeskis et. al.) are an active area of research in RFID security. The aim is to provide some context to an RFID tag that will allow the tag to decide whether to talk or not.

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Fokke & Sukke zijn altijd de agenda kwijt: “Volgens Google ligt hij op jouw bureau Sukke.” Deze strip van Fokke & Sukke geeft de essentie van het internet der dingen treffend weer: de virtuele wereld en de werkelijke, fysieke, wereld worden met elkaar verbonden zodat we via Internet kunnen zoeken naar onze agenda, kunnen zien of de kinderen al zijn thuisgekomen als we zelf wat langer op het werk zijn, en een berichtje krijgen wanneer de file op weg naar huis kort genoeg is.
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