New RFID Technology Allows You to be Tracked WITHOUT Your Knowledge
Published on 01-18-2009
Source: RFID Wizards
By invitation, I recently visited a remote facility in northern Virginia to see a demonstration of NOX – a new Intelligent Perimeter Defense system
deployed by the FBI that uses covert Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to track people and assets without their knowledge.
That’s right, using RFID to track people without their knowledge. This system is exactly what the privacy advocates have long feared: Big Brother
tracking us with spy chips. As Orwellian as this sounds, the undisputed fact is that this system catches thieves and does so at a fraction of the cost
of traditional security solutions.
NOX combines high-resolution video pictures and RFID for identification, tracking and tracing, overlaid in real time on a facility map to show the
movement of people and assets. The system allows security officers to see theft as it happens, even if the stolen object is inside a briefcase, under
a jacket, or stuffed inside a sock.
What makes the NOX system I saw different from traditional security systems is that it uses RFID for clandestine surveillance: RFID readers are hidden
inside walls, floors, and ceilings; RFID tags are discretely placed; and only the security personnel know that the system is in place – until the
thief gets caught. Then, all the thief knows is that he or she was caught in the act, on video.
"It takes a criminal twelve seconds to defeat a lock or fence. Yet, we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to create fences that only provide an
illusion of security. NOX creates a virtual perimeter that tells us who is penetrating the perimeter, when they are doing it and, where it's
happening. With this information, we can respond with the appropriate level of force and prevent further penetration."
A commander with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), who asked to remain anonymous for this article.
There is serious motivation behind the development of NOX in both the government and private sectors. The reality is that traditional security systems
are simply not proving to be effective against criminals. Beyond the obvious homeland security concerns, the NOX team places strong emphasis on the
impact to our national economy. According to the American Management Association, 95 percent of all businesses are victimized by employee theft.
Employees steal over a billion dollars a week from their employers and it takes $20 billion dollars in sales every week just to cover the losses.
That’s a yearly economic impact of one trillion dollars. Yet, most companies are embarrassed to talk publicly about how serious this issue really
is. They try to deal with it quietly by spending money on traditional security systems. The most shocking statistic is that even with all the money
companies spend on security, 80 percent of all employees will be tempted to steal if given the opportunity, according to the FBI.
This is also placing a huge burden on our judicial system. Public order crime is rising faster than any other type of case, as shown in the graphic at
Privacy advocates will have an extremely difficult argument when facing numbers that motivate government and big business like these do. The NOX Team
Director commented, "Our mission is not to invade privacy, simply protect the innocent. RFID is just a tool in our system. If RFID wasn't available,
we would tag by other means such as scent, chemicals, or dyes -- and, in actuality we do. The right to privacy is important but privacy and anonymity
are different. All RFID does is help prove what you did."
The NOX team has perfected dozens of methods of tagging people without their knowledge.
One of the more covert technologies they employ is ID-Dust, serialized dust particles that can be interrogated like a RFID tag. The NOX team can coat
a person or object with it to track etc.