The World of Sharing

Insights from Peter Winer, Big Chief Partners, Inc.

October 2005
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White papers and updates from Big Chief Partners (registration required)


Last update: 10/12/2005; 2:07:29 AM.

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  Thursday, April 14, 2005

Just Say "No" to Electronic Passports

The State Department of the United States plans to start issuing Passports with embedded RFID tags later this year.  The tags will store all information that is printed on a Passport and also a digital facial scan of the Passport holder.  The information will not be encrypted.


This scheme compromises the Passport holder’s privacy because the unencrypted information can be read by a rogue reader without the holder’s knowledge or approval.  The State Department claims that RFID will increase security and also make border crossing faster and more efficient.  It’s not clear that RFID accomplishes either goal.


Placing a sophisticated RFID tag in a Passport might make the Passport somewhat more difficult to counterfeit.  In the long run, it will probably just force the counterfeiters to become somewhat more sophisticated.  Storing the information without encryption does not improve security and puts the Passport holder at risk.  Allowing Passports to be scanned with RFID is not inherently faster than Bar Codes that are used today at border crossings.


Various organizations have weighed in on this issue, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and

10:55:05 AM    comment []

  Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Privacy and Electronic Passports

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is critical of US Government plans to embed RFID in so-called Electronic Passports.  They recently published an open letter commenting on the plan.

3:10:13 PM    comment []

Oracle Sensor-Based Services

Last December, IBM announced their RFID Device Infrastructure.  This week at RFID Journal Live, Oracle announced their Sensor-Based Services.

2:58:49 PM    comment []

  Thursday, April 07, 2005

RFID: Terrorist Beacon?

In eWeek, David Coursey criticizes US Government plans to embed RFID tags in passports.  In theory, US citizens could be easily identified and targeted by criminals with handheld readers that sense the passports they are carrying.

5:33:36 PM    comment []

  Sunday, February 27, 2005

Presentations at RFID World

Next week, we are making two presentations at RFID World in Dallas.

On March 1, I am moderating Best Practices and Methods for Seamless Enterprise Integration.  My panelists are Eric Dzwonczyk from Campbell Soup Company and Ray Mazur from The Sherwin-Williams Company.

On March 2, Chris Meisl and I are joined by Graham Gillen from Verisign presenting, Security, Authentication, Privacy and Trust.

9:03:09 PM    comment []

February 2005 update newsletter

The February 2005 update from Big Chief Partners is available from our Web site.

This newsletter covers the latest developments in RFID Infrastructure as well as Security, Authentication, Privacy and Trust.  In additon, there is also an article about the spectrum of active RFID technologies available including WiFi, Zigbee and classic active RFID.

8:56:07 PM    comment []

Developers Conference presentation slides

Long overdue, the presentation slides from Chris Meisl's presentation at the RFID Developers Conference, entitled Security, Authentication, Privacy and Trust can be downloaded from the Big Chief Web site.

8:53:17 PM    comment []

  Saturday, September 18, 2004

Presentation Slides from Frontline Expo

The presentation slides from my two panels at Frontline Expo are now available on the Big Chief Partners Web site.

11:39:49 AM    comment []

  Saturday, September 11, 2004

RFID Networks and Middleware at Frontline Expo

I am moderating two panel discussions at Frontline Expo on September 13 and 14, 2004. The handout for the panels is now available for download on the Big Chief Partners Web site.  The handout has all the details for attending.

The RFID Networks panel on September 13 at 2:45 PM has representatives from GlobeRanger, ConnecTerra, Oat Systems and Blue Vector Systems.

The RFID Middleware and Web Services panel on September 14 at 2:45 PM has representatives from BEA Systems, TIBCO, webMethods and Sun Microsystems.

Also, if you're interested in meeting with me at the conference, email me or just stop by after one of the panel sessions.

6:24:13 PM    comment []

  Saturday, September 04, 2004

Samsung joins NFC

Royal Philips Electronics and Samsung announced today that Samsung would be manufacturing mobile handsets with Near Field Communications (NFC) support.

"Consumers will first see NFC technology appear in their most commonly utilized personal device – the mobile phone. With NFC, the mobile phone transitions from running primarily voice applications to becoming a more personalized device that can let you conduct secure payment transactions, gain access to public transportation, building access and store digital rights. In essence, the mobile phone becomes a point-of-sale terminal, a ticket counter, keys to your building, a transport card, a debit/credit card and an electronic business card all in one easy to use device."

5:39:29 PM    comment []

© Copyright 2005 Peter Winer.