RFID and the safety concerns of consumers. It needs to be at least 3750 words.

RFID systems are also faster and more secure than other Auto-ID technologies. Even though RFID tags were invented in 1969 and patented in 1973, the technology is now becoming technologically and commercially viable (Brito, 2005).

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Understanding the RFID devices and how they work is critical for analyzing privacy issues that surround this technology.

The main components of an RFID system are a chip/tag, reader, and database. A reader scans the tag for data and sends the information to a database, which stores the data contained on the tag.

The chip or the tag is usually made of silicon and it contains information about the item to which it is attached. A chip is used by retailers and manufacturers to identify consumer goods that may contain an Electronic Product Code (“EPC”). EPC chips are encrypted with a unique product code that identifies the individual product to which it is attached, and can be read using radio frequency. These codes contain the type of data that product manufacturers and retailers will use to track the authenticity and location of goods throughout the supply chain. RFID chip may also contain information other than an EPC, such as biometric data. The antenna attached to the chip is responsible for transmitting information to the reader, using radio waves. Generally, the bigger the antenna, the longer the read range. The chip and antenna together is referred to as a transponder or, more commonly, as a tag.

The reader (or scanning device) also has its own antenna, which it uses to communicate with the tag. Readers vary in size, weight, and power, and may be mobile or stationary. Although anyone with access to the proper reader can scan an RFID tag, RFID systems can employ authentication and encryption to prevent unauthorized reading of data. A reader can scan a tag without physically “seeing” it.

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