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An RFID solution that addresses consumers’ privacy concerns

An RFID solution that addresses consumers’ privacy concerns
RFID sees many applications in different vertical markets, facilitating users as they manage and track their products or merchandises. However one concern users have with RFID is the issue of privacy, fearing that their personal information may be stolen or made public. A new RAIN RFID chip developed by Impinj addresses this concern.
The company recently announced the introduction of the Monza R6-A tag chip, which attaches to items and enables RAIN RFID connectivity devices to determine the item's identity, location, and authenticity. Further, the chip delivers enhanced privacy protection and is designed for the European retail market, which is at the forefront of public policy on consumer privacy and sustainability.
“Given the May 2018 implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, many retailers have taken steps to ensure their consumers’ data is safeguarded. Other governments are starting to explore similar legislation. Retailers need to consider how they take advantage of new sources of data as they build IoT solutions while also doing their due diligence to balance gathering data that is useful to them with the customer’s desire for privacy,” said Carl Brasek, Senior Director of Product Management for Silicon Products at Impinj. “‘Privacy by Design’ is a major emphasis of this type of legislation – the idea that any solution you implement should have consumer privacy protections built in. That’s exactly what we’re doing with the Monza R6-A. We’ve built privacy options into the chip so a retailer can easily use these privacy options as a part of their program to be in compliance with regulations and best practices.”
According to Brasek, RAIN RFID tags transmit a unique identification number – there is no customer information contained on the tag. But Impinj has taken a step further with the Monza R6-A by adding more advanced features, including a short-range mode. “With short-range mode, the tag’s read range is dramatically reduced so they can only be read when very close to a reader. This also allows these tags to continue to function so that retailers can later identify the item using the RFID tag. While short-range mode may not be new, it is not included in every RAIN RFID tag chip product, as it requires additional memory space,” he said. “Putting a Monza R6-A tag in short-range mode provides privacy for shoppers who may be concerned about tags being read from a distance and that item information being correlated with them as a shopper or identified as a particular item in their possession.”
Another feature allows retailers to “kill the tag” completely at the point of sale. “In addition to the short-range mode feature, retailers can further enhance consumer privacy with Monza R6-A chips’ kill capability, which allows a reader to irreversibly deactivate, or kill, the chip after item purchase. This option renders the tag unreadable. The two options: short range mode or to completely kill the tag allow retailers to choose the method that suits their unique needs,” he said. “Retailer needs vary, of course, so providing both technologies allows flexibility for the end user. Pairing short-range mode with the R6-A’s kill capability ultimately creates options for retailers looking to reassure consumers about personal privacy.”

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