It is Radio Frequency ID, a controversial chip such as the ones used in wireless keyboards and mice, that is now being put in new passports and merchandise at stores.
The Advantages: Seamless connection with technology and more convenience. For example, they are used to track trends in merchandise sales, to prevent theft (they are those little tags that set off alarms in stores), race timing, and as a new alternative in libraries to the check out cards they place at the back of books.
Disadvantages: These RFID chips have caused much concern, as if they get hacked, the hacker could find personal information about them. Many are concerned that identity thieves or terrorist who target only Americans will exploit this.
The RFID chips can be very useful when used in the right way, and there is a way to prevent hackers from gaining access to them. Buy or make your own shielding cage (the newer ones have started shipping with cases). The sheilding cages are effectively mini Faraday Cage
s wrapped in cloth (for style). A faraday cage is a enclosure of metal that surrounds, but cannot actually touch the object inside. It disrupts the signal so that the RFID can only be read when it is opened.
Bob: When did you get your passport.
Tim: This year (2009)
Bob: Your passport has an RFID tag in it.
Spy-chip - possibly the scariest technology coming into use right now. They're tiny chips, some as small as a third of a millimetre, which can be hidden inside objects, packaging and even people, and which give a unique identity symbol if triggered by a scanner. In other words, every banknote, shoe or pair of jeans might have a unique ID allowing anyone with a scanner to track it - the government could find out your whereabouts and where you bought your clothes, criminals could scan you to find out how much money you were carrying and ID cards, passports etc could contain chips which could be scanned from a distance.
Currently being introduced by WalMart in products and packaging, with 100 other companies interested. Euro banknotes might contain the chips. A version which can be injected in humans, the VeriChip, is now being tested, and several US states including New York are discussing forcibly injecting the chips in homeless people.
It stands for Radio Frequency ID.
Try saying the alternate pronunciation: "riff-dee". It rolls off the tongue.
RFID chips are becoming ubiquitous but the acronym is a mouthful. It is easier to say RFID than "Radio-Frequency Identification" but it still does not make the grade for ease of use for something we encounter (if not ignore) on a daily basis.
This is an alternate pronunciation for the RFID chip and makes no suggestion that the original spelling be changed.
Big Brother says: RFIDs are nifty!
The vet put a RFID chip in my dog, in case she gets lost I can find her.
I cut myself on the RIFD chip that was deep inside my new pair of jeans.
Walmart is now putting RFID chips on all of their products to create "smart shelves".
It's a new technology, part of the so-called "The Internet of Things" that is currently in development by several labs and companies around the world. It's a small magnetized chip with an antenna, which can be read by a magnetic scanner.
While diluted conspiracy moonbats think that the chips are used to track people's wherabouts by satellite, this idea falls apart for one very simple reason: the chips do not have batteries. It would take a massive antenna on each chip and a powerful battery (we're talking satellite phone sized, here) to actually broadcast a signal that would be readable from space, so that completely negates the idea that they can be injected into a person's body and used to track their every move.
RFID technology is nothing new, either. I was at a Laser Tag arena 10 years ago where they used a very similar system to keep track of the scores in a player's gun, using magnetic signals to transfer a player's ID signal from the gun to the computer at the desk and vise-versa.
It is true that we do need some federal regulations about what RFID can be used for. Some things make sense, like using them to replace bar codes on consumer products. Other applications are somewhat questionable, like putting them inside of passports which could potentially be scanned by a terrorist or identity thief using a stolen scanner. However, the idea of tracking people is ridiculously impractical, since you'd need to have scanners every couple of feet to do it effectivly,...