[LINK] Fwd: [Politech] RFID tags reportedly found in German loyalty shopping card [priv]

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Wed Feb 11 11:01:32 EST 2004

>Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2004 01:05:29 -0500
>To: politech at politechbot.com
>From: Declan McCullagh <declan at well.com>
>Subject: [Politech] RFID tags reportedly found in German loyalty shopping
>  card [priv]
>[If the Metro Future Store's contract consumers likely sign (when 
>obtaining a loyalty card) does not permit RFID tags embedded in the 
>card, then consumers might have recourse for breach of contract. If 
>it does not, then consumers over time perhaps will (a) demand such 
>privacy protections in the contract or (b) decide they don't care. 
>Option (b) is a real possibility. After all, an RFID tag in a 
>loyalty card seems similar, based on the below description, to the 
>U.S. speedpass or ezpass transponders, neither of which has resulted 
>in a privacy outcry. --Declan]
>Subject: German RFID Scandal: Hidden devices, unkillable tags found in
>	Metro Future Store
>From: Katherine Albrecht <press at nocards.org>
>Date: Wed, 04 Feb 2004 23:36:59 -0500
>February 5, 2004
>German RFID Scandal: Hidden devices, unkillable tags found in Metro
>Future Store
>Germans say, "Nein! We wont be your versuchskaninchen"
>"We won't be your versuchskaninchen." That's the message German privacy
>advocates are sending to executives at the Metro Future Store in
>Rheinberg, Germany after discovering RFID devices hidden in the store's
>loyalty cards. They also found that RFID tags on products sold at the
>store cannot be completely deactivated after purchase, despite Metro's
>"Versuchskaninchen" is the German word for guinea pig, which is how
>German consumers feel Metro and its partners have treated them since
>opening the Future Store last year to test experimental RFID
>applications on live shoppers.
>The revelations came just one day after Katherine Albrecht, founder and
>director of CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and
>Numbering) toured the Future Store with a delegation of privacy experts
>from German advocacy group FoeBud, who sponsored her visit.
>"We were shocked to find RFID tags in Metro's 'Payback' loyalty card,"
>said Albrecht, after FoeBuD tested the cards with an RFID reader and
>discovered the tag. "The card application form, brochures, and signage
>at the store made no mention of the embedded technology and Metro
>executives spent several hours showing us the store without telling us
>about it."
>"In retrospect, it's no wonder store employees appeared nervous when we
>asked to take a few of the cards with us," she added.
>Vendors of RFID-enabled loyalty cards promote them as a way for
>supermarkets to identify shoppers remotely as they enter the store,
>using details of their identity and purchase history to pitch products
>to them and to track their movements and activities within the store.
>Prior to the Metro discovery, no major retailer had publicly admitted to
>using such cards.
>In addition to the cards, Albrecht discovered that Metro cannot
>deactivate the unique identification number contained in RFID tags in
>products it sells.  The use of unique, item-level ID numbers is one of
>the key privacy concerns surrounding the use of RFID tags on consumer
>"Customers are misled into believing that the tags can be killed at a
>special deactivation kiosk, but the kiosk only rewrites a portion of the
>tag, while leaving the unique ID number intact," she said.
>Outraged German citizens are calling on Metro to put an immediate end to
>the trials.
>"We are deeply disappointed at the Metro executives. They talked of an
>open dialog while hiding important facts from us," said Rena Tangens of
>FoeBuD. "We are calling for an immediate moratorium on further RFID
>testing as it is clear that Metro is not handling the technology
>Evidence of the RFID tag in Metro's "Payback" loyalty card, along with
>evidence of the incomplete deactivation of product tags, can be found on
>FoeBuD's website at http://www.foebud.org/rfid/.
>For more information, see http://www.spychips.com
>and http://www.nocards.org.
>Katherine Albrecht, CASPIAN Founder and Director: (877) 287-5854
>Liz McIntyre, CASPIAN Communications: (877) 287-5854 or liz at nocards.org
>                                   ###
>Politech mailing list
>Archived at http://www.politechbot.com/
>Moderated by Declan McCullagh (http://www.mccullagh.org/)

Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 00:19:59 -0500
To: politech at politechbot.com
From: Declan McCullagh <declan at well.com>
Subject: [Politech] Reply to RFID tags reportedly found in German loyalty
  card [priv]

From: "Jim Harper - Privacilla.org" <jim.harper at privacilla.org>
To: "'Declan McCullagh'" <declan at well.com>
Subject: RE: [Politech] RFID tags reportedly found in German loyalty 
shopping card [priv]
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 14:39:49 -0500


Technophobe Furor: Magnetic Stripes Discovered on Credit Cards!

Using a secret, invisible technology called "magnetism," credit cards are
being embedded with information about credit card users, say privacy

This secret "magnetic" technology is concealed from consumers in an
innocuous looking stripe on the back of some credit cards, allowing
information to be transferred secretly between credit card companies and
merchants.  The evildoers then surreptitiously or brazenly effectuate
transactions at the behest of purchasers, taking control of a small part of
their financial assets in the process.

"This 'magnetism' is foisted on consumers without any notice or warning.
Our outrage and surprise knows no bounds.  Consumers won't be seduced by the
appeal of lower cost, greater convenience, or any other pursuit ordinarily
associated with the wants and needs of consumers," said consumer advocate Ka
. . . .

'Nuff said.

Jim Harper

>Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 09:58:07 +1100
>To: Declan McCullagh <declan at well.com>, "Jim Harper - 
>Privacilla.org" <jim.harper at privacilla.org>
>From: Roger Clarke <Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au>
>Subject: Re: [Politech] RFID tags reportedly found in German loyalty 
>shopping  card [priv]
>G'day Declan, Jim
>Jim's response is so far below the standard of Politech that I find 
>it remarkable you were prepared to risk your rep by publishing it.
>Jim, it's apparent to a consumer when data is transferred from a mag 
>stripe, because you hand the thing over.  Not so with an RFID tag. 
>You make Privacilla look priva-silly.
>But Declan, I was surprised that you'd put forward such a dumb 
>argument as:  'because people don't seem to mind <privacy-invasive 
>technology>, it's okay'.
>So the 'warm frog' argument is irrelevant?  Tools for the next 
>totalitarian state are okay, because consumers didn't mind them? 
>There's not much role for an intelligentsia if consumer adoption is 
>the sole arbiter of progress.
>Regards  ...  Roger

Roger Clarke              http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                 Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au            http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program, University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Baker Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre, U.N.S.W
Visiting Fellow in Computer Science, Australian National University

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