Warning: The Warehouse now using RFIDs

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Geoff, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. Geoff

    Geoff Guest

    Um, why do you think an RFID tag somehow has anything on it relating to you
    or your EFTPOS card ?

    Geoff, Sep 17, 2007
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  2. Geoff

    vitw Guest

    Hi all,

    From now on, if you're shopping at The Warehouse, it might be a good idea
    to get into the habit of paying cash for everything. Skip their EFTPOS

    I bought a curtain today, and it had an RFID attached inside the top hem.

    For those who don't know already, RFIDs are 'Radio Frequency
    IDentification' devices - tiny silicon chips with miniature antennas, that
    overseas are being increasingly embedded within products. A scanner nearby
    can send a weak electro-magnetic pulse, giving the chip just enough power
    to transmit back a unique product and serial number. This product number of
    itself can be used as a unique database key, which can identify not only
    the product,manufacturer,retailer,batch etc, but also the customer who
    bought it, and the personal details on the customer.

    RFIDs on the plus side are a brilliant technology which, for a business
    like The Warehouse, can take away lot of the pain of inventory management

    But for consumers, they are a privacy and security time-bomb waiting to go

    RFIDs can be hidden in clothes, purses etc, and can often be difficult to
    find and remove. Theoretically, anyone with a scanner can zap you anywhere
    you go, even walking down the street - they only have to get within a few
    metres of you.

    At worst case, if a crim has access to a major retailer's database (and
    customer database thefts from major corporations are getting increasingly
    common overseas), then with a scanner and cellphone, they can 'zap' you in
    the middle of the street, and within 5 seconds know your name, phone
    number, cell number, address, email address even possibly your credit
    history and recent purchase history as well. To a creative crim, this
    opens up whole new classes of opportunity.

    If you pay at RFID-using retailers using EFTPOS or credit card, you're
    fair game. But if you just take a few steps to the nearest ATM when
    you're shopping, and pay by cash, you're much safer.

    I can't say I'm too impressed with The Warehouse for deploying this
    technology without announcing it publicly first.

    I'm actually fine about RFIDs myself - AS LONG AS THEY ARE REMOVED AND/OR
    vitw, Sep 17, 2007
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  3. Geoff

    vitw Guest

    You obviously only half-read my post.

    Of itself, an RFID tag is only capable of transmitting a unique number.
    But in conjunction with illegal database access, it can bring up all kinds
    of info on you. More so if the retailer who sold the product shares its
    customer database with other companies, or you have voluntarily given your
    personal info to the retailer (for example, taken back a product for
    vitw, Sep 17, 2007
  4. Geoff

    Fred Dagg Guest


    Slow day in the nut house?
    Fred Dagg, Sep 17, 2007
  5. Geoff

    Geopelia Guest

    I don't use EFTPOS. It's annoying enough being behind someone using it in
    the checkout queue. What a performance. It amazes me when people shopping
    for some small item use EFTPOS. What's wrong with good old cash? The shop
    still has a copy of the receipt docket for stocktaking.

    I've got Foodtown's Onecard though. I couldn't care less if their computer
    knows which toilet paper I buy! The savings add up and they send a reward
    voucher now and then.
    Geopelia, Sep 17, 2007
  6. Geoff

    JohnO Guest

    What you are suggesting is not feasible. The EFTPOS card is not
    scanned into the POS system - it is scanned by an EFTPOS pin-pad which
    only transmits the amount of the approved transaction to the POS
    system, but not the account number or name. Therefore the POS system
    knows the RFID but not the account id.

    But if you want to really feel safe, wrap that curtain up in the
    tinfoil left over from making your hat.
    JohnO, Sep 17, 2007
  7. Geoff

    Matty F Guest

    Even that won't help. Just a barcode on a saw used to cut up a body
    somehow led to a suspect:


    "A barcode on one of the saws led police to the downtown Warehouse
    where security camera footage and transaction details came back to
    Xiangxin Cui."
    Matty F, Sep 17, 2007
  8. Geoff

    Matty F Guest

    I'll bet many retailers including The Warehouse keep the unique RFID
    no. together with the other sale details, such as an EFTPOS or credit
    card number, security footage etc. Very handy for finding crooks and
    murderers etc.
    Matty F, Sep 17, 2007
  9. Geoff

    XPD Guest

    Proof please.

    Paranoia rocks dont it ?
    XPD, Sep 17, 2007
  10. Geoff

    whoisthis Guest

    With some luck they may find Elvis too and all those props used to fake
    the moon landings. But you keep this quiet, they can listen in using the
    gwen towers in Alaska then send a tornado your way....shhhh
    whoisthis, Sep 17, 2007
  11. Geoff

    Richard Guest

    Got pics of it? Im interested in getting some for other purposes
    (assuming they will work with my reader)
    Richard, Sep 17, 2007
  12. Geoff

    Richard Guest

    Transmits at least part of the card number and other info back to the
    POS system for the purpose of printing the reciept, so yeah, they can
    get information. I have seen reciepts that have had my name on them too,
    so chances are that information is available to the POS system too.
    Richard, Sep 17, 2007
  13. Geoff

    Kent Smith Guest

    1. How do you know it is an RFID tag and not a magnetic security strip?
    2. How do you know 'the warehouse now use them'? More and more goods will
    be manufactured with them but whether they are being used or not is up to
    the retailer.

    Kent Smith, Sep 17, 2007
  14. Highly unlikely that a "crim" will have access to those sorts of
    databases, and even more unlikely for them to have it in a mobile manner
    on the street.

    (excuse the pun)
    Jonathan Walker, Sep 17, 2007
  15. Nothing!

    However, banks penalise businesses who deposit large quantities of cash -
    especially coins.
    Jonathan Walker, Sep 17, 2007
  16. Geoff

    whoisthis Guest

    well it ties into illegal stock taking. Because each item has a unique
    ID they can tell which items have been paid for as they go out of the
    building, be it by sale or attempted theft by customers/staff. Equally
    it will speed up the check outs as you will not even need to take stuff
    out of the trolley as they will be able to scan it all in at once.
    whoisthis, Sep 17, 2007
  17. Geoff

    Barry Lennox Guest

    How do you know it was an RFID tag, the only ones I see in the
    Warehouse are the normal anti-shoplifting ones.

    Most RFID tags are dead easy to break for the paranoid.
    Barry Lennox, Sep 17, 2007
  18. Geoff

    JohnO Guest

    They used to transmit the entire number and other details but they has
    been removed for security reasons. I don't think you will find any
    names anymore either. The POS providers have had a fairly significant
    revamp because of security and privacy concerns.
    JohnO, Sep 17, 2007
  19. Geoff

    Fred Guest

    Imagine someone being able to work out who you are. How absolutely
    Fred, Sep 17, 2007
  20. Geoff

    Geoff Guest

    If your criminal ro the retailer has access to all that data, the link to an
    RFID is the least of your problems.

    Geoff, Sep 17, 2007
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