Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification)

The Links below will take you to various websites and/or various sections of the Spychips.com website (Important Information)--- Use your back browser button to return to this page!

Visit: spychips.com  and  nocards.org

WHAT IS RFID?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency IDentification, a technology that uses tiny computer chips smaller than a grain of sand to track items at a distance. RFID "spy chips" have been hidden in the packaging of Gillette razor products and in other products you might buy at a local Wal-Mart, Target, or Tesco - and they are already being used to spy on people.

Gillette tag closeup
Above: Magnified image of actual tag found in Gillette Mach3 razor blades.

Each tiny chip is hooked up to an antenna that picks up electromagnetic energy beamed at it from a reader device. When it picks up the energy, the chip sends back its unique identification number to the reader device, allowing the item to be remotely identified. Spy chips can beam back information anywhere from a couple of inches to up to 20 or 30 feet away.


Some of the world's largest product manufacturers have been plotting behind closed doors since 1999 to develop and commercialize this technology. If they are not opposed, their plan is to use these remote-readable spy chips to replace the bar code.

RFID tags are NOT an "improved bar code" as the proponents of the technology would like you to believe. RFID technology differs from bar codes in three important ways:
1. With today's bar code technology, every can of Coke has the same UPC or bar code number as every other can (a can of Coke in Toronto has the same number as a can of Coke in Topeka). With RFID, each individual can of Coke would have a unique ID number which could be linked to the person buying it when they scan a credit card or a frequent shopper card (i.e., an "item registration system").

2. Unlike a bar code, these chips can be read from a distance, right through your clothes, wallet, backpack or purse -- without your knowledge or consent -- by anybody with the right reader device. In a way, it gives strangers x-ray vision powers to spy on you, to identify both you and the things you're wearing and carrying.

3. Unlike the bar code, RFID could be bad for your health. RFID supporters envision a world where RFID reader devices are everywhere - in stores, in floors, in doorways, on airplanes -- even in the refrigerators and medicine cabinets of our own homes. In such a world, we and our children would be continually bombarded with electromagnetic energy. Researchers do not know the long-term health effects of chronic exposure to the energy emitted by these reader devices.

We Protested at a Dallas Wal-Mart October 15!

Join Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre in Dallas on Saturday, October 15. We've found
RFID-tagged items at Wal-Mart! It's time to take a stand.

RFID Privacy Issues and News

Dallas Wal-Mart Protest Big Success!
Our October 15 protest at a Dallas Wal-Mart drew an estimated 75 people. Thanks to all who turned out!

Why do we oppose Wal-Mart's use of RFID?
Our press release explains

Click here for protest photos!
Click here for photos of spychips at Wal-Mart!
Click here for Channel 8 coverage showing our sea of supporters!

Many huge corporations, including Philip Morris, Procter and Gamble, and Wal-Mart, have begun experimenting with RFID spy chip technology. Gillette is leading the pack, and recently placed an order for up to 500 million RFID tags from a company called "Alien Technology" (we kid you not). These big companies envision a day when every single product on the face of the planet is tracked with RFID spy chips!

As consumers we have no way of knowing which packages contain these chips. While some chips are visible inside a package (see our pictures of Gillette spy chips), RFID chips can be well hidden. For example they can be sewn into the seams of clothes, sandwiched between layers of cardboard, molded into plastic or rubber, and integrated into consumer package design.

This technology is rapidly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Now RFID spy chips can even be printed, meaning the dot on a printed letter "i" could be used to track you. In addition, the tell-tale copper antennas commonly seen attached to RFID chips can now be printed with conductive ink, making them nearly imperceptible. Companies are even experimenting with making the product packages themselves serve as antennas.

As you can see, it could soon be virtually impossible for a consumer to know whether a product or package contains an RFID spy chip. For this reason, CASPIAN (the creator of this web site) is proposing federal labeling legislation, the RFID Right to Know Act, which would require complete disclosures on any consumer products containing RFID devices.

We believe the public has an absolute right to know when they are interacting with technology that could affect their health and privacy.

Don't you?

Join us. Let's fight this battle before big corporations track our every move.

Fight Back!



 

For additional information, see "RFID: Tracking Everything Everywhere", an excerpt from an article by CASPIAN founder Katherine Albrecht, Ed.M. that appeared in the Summer 2002 issue of the Denver University Law Review.
 

Bio --- Katherine Albrecht, Ed.M.

Katherine Albrecht is a consumer privacy expert and the Founder and Director of CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering), a national consumer organization created in 1999 to educate consumer-citizens about shopper surveillance. Ms. Albrecht is widely recognized as one of the world's leading experts on consumer privacy. She regularly speaks on the consumer privacy and civil liberties impacts of new technologies, with an emphasis on RFID and retail issues.

She has testified on RFID technology before the Federal Trade Commission, the California state legislature, the European Commission, and the Federal Reserve Bank, and she has given over a thousand television, radio and print interviews to news outlets all over the world. Katherine graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in International Marketing, and holds a master's degree in Instructional Technology from Harvard University. She is currently completing her Doctorate in Education at Harvard where her research focus is consumer education, privacy and psychology.

 

 
The Spychips website is a project of CASPIAN, Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering. CASPIAN 2003-2004.
 

What should be done?
 

CASPIAN's Proposed Legislation would require labeling on products containing RFID
CASPIAN's Joint Position Statement requests limits on business and government use of RFID


 

Scandals

Ex-Bush cabinet member praises & recommends VeriChip

CASPIAN uncovers Government RFID Promotion Scheme

Mexican Chipping Overstated (CASPIAN reveals 18 officials chipped, not 160)


FDA letter outlines serious health risks from VeriChip human implants

Censored! CASPIAN told to remove incriminating RFID tagging photos

Photos of chipped CVS products, Kleenex, Huggies baby wipes

Calvin Klein and other clothing labels with hidden RFID tags

Mexican Attorney General and staff take RFID implants


Wal-Mart is RFID tagging in Texas! Call 1-800-Wal-Mart to complain!

Industry Attempt to Smear RFID Activist Katherine Albrecht
Grocery Manufacturers of America and Gillette CEO asked to explain

CASPIAN finds embarrassing confidential RFID documents
Talk of "pacifying" consumers, hoping for "apathy," and bringing lawmakers into the "inner circle."
CASPIAN asks "How can we trust these people with our personal data?"


Metro "Future Store" hides RFID in shopper cards
Protest and backlash force a recall

Wal-Mart, P&G Caught in Secret RFID Test
Consumers used as guinea pigs for controversial technology

 


 

Business Week Article:
 
 

"Industry is finally getting the message: RFID is fine for pallets of goods in a warehouse, but not for people."

 

CIO Magazine Article:
 

Customers to Retailers: "Take us Seriously"
Privacy Advocates Turn up the Pressure
 

 

NEW BOOK!

Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID
by Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre

"A masterpiece..." -- from the foreword by Bruce Sterling

Now available at Amazon.com

 

From Talk Radio's Coast to Coast AM with host George Noory  --- Oct 08, 2005 http://www.coasttocoastam.com/

In the first hour, consumer privacy expert Katherine Albrecht invited listeners to join her and Liz McIntyre for an Oct. 15th protest of a Dallas Wal-Mart that carries RFID-tagged items...cont.

RFID Tag Photos

Katherine Albrecht has provided photos of a RFID tag and label along with explanations for her appearance on Saturday's program. This photo (pictured left) is the label as it shows on the outside of a Hewlett-Packard printer box for sale at Wal-Mart. It's 3 X 3 inches square. The only indication there's RFID involved is the inch square EPC symbol in the upper right. View more here.

Photo: Copyright Liz McIntyre

 

 

 

Katherine Albrecht has provided photos of a RFID tag and label along with explanations for her appearance on The Saturday 10/8/05 program on Coast to Coast AM :

 

This photo is the label as it shows on the outside of some Hewlett-Packard printer/scanner boxes for sale at Wal-Mart. It's 3 X 3 inches square. The only indication there's RFID involved is the inch square EPC symbol in the upper right. Other than that, the label looks like any other label, and it lays flat against the cardboard on the box. (Part of the bar code information has been blacked out.)


 

This photo shows the reverse side of the label. You'll see a Rafsec RFID tag--looks like an evil butterfly.

Photos: Copyright Liz McIntyre

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