The Consumer's Wizard War
Want to find out where your kids have been? Wonder where your employees went? Then install a GPS device that continuously logs movement on your vehicle. The device is made by a company called Trackstick and while not everyone would be interested in its benefits, it underscores how modern technology is only beginning to be fully utilized. There may be an initial outcry if one day GPS trackers become standard equipment on cars or cell phones like odometers are on cars. But after a time people will just "move on". Or find ways to deal with it. There may be a future market in GPS spoofers, just like radar detectors ... move, countermove. There's already a product that protects you from having your credit cards read by no-swipe card readers so that private information can't be obtained without your express consent. No sooner did the "feature" arrive before the search began for ways to disable it.
Tens of millions of no-swipe credit cards have been issued in the past year. When a customer uses the credit card to make a purchase, the card is processed by a radio frequency identification reader operated by the retailer. Schumer said thieves can equip themselves with the radio frequency readers to steal information from the credit cards, which are being marketed heavily as time savers. "All you need to be is within a couple of feet of the customer," Schumer said. "You may as well put your credit card information on a big sign on your back."
Not everyone is too thrilled at the prospect, however slight the threat might be. But don't worry. Popular Science describes how you too can travel in your own ECM bubble against virtual IEDs (Improvised Extractors of Data) threats. It's a tough world out there.
Speaking to a packed and sweaty crowd this afternoon, RFID researcher Melanie Rieback explained the technology behind RFID Guardian, a personal firewall she's developing that will protect your privacy in an world where your clothes, library books, and passport contain RFID tags. You can see the latest completed version of the Guardian above -- it's an ordinary circuitboard with two antennae and powerful onboard processors. It intercepts signals from RFID readers that are attempting to get information from, say, the RFID in your passport. Like a software firewall, it won't let those signals reach your RFID unless you want them to -- for example, if you're passing through customs.
The magic of nostalgia lies in the memory of simplicity. When it was unheard of to lock one's doors. When to be gay was simply to be in high spirits. When a telephone was something with a dial. When you could leave home without turning on your electronic countermeasures. But there is no way back. For better or worse we all live in the 21st century now.
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beautious mankind is!
O brave new world,
That has such people in't!