Network World is running two interesting articles on RFIDs and privacy, both of which include reference to IBM's growing role in this field:
IBM demos RFID tag with privacy-protecting features - Network World:
"The latest to tackle the issue is IBM, which this week is expected to demonstrate its design for an RFID tag with a disabling feature that limits - but doesn't kill - a wireless chip's ability to broadcast item information.
The Clipped Tag gives consumers the option to disable RFID tags on items they purchase without eliminating the possibility that the tags could be used later to expedite product returns or recalls, says Paul Moskowitz, a research staff member at IBM's Watson Research Center in Hawthorne, N.Y. The design calls for a product label with perforations 'like a sheet of postage stamps,' he says.
After purchasing a tagged item, a consumer can tear the Clipped Tag label along the perforations to remove a portion of the tag's antenna, reducing its transmission capability. 'When you do that, you do not kill the tag completely. The chip is still there, and it has some of the antenna left. But you've just taken a tag that may have had a 30-foot range and reduced the range to just a few inches.' "
"Companies using RFID tags on products should notify customers in all cases, should tell customers whether they can deactivate the tags and should build security into the technology as a primary design requirement, the group said. "