A researcher is working on technology he hopes will be able to control RFID tags and protect private information. "We are building our own RFID cards and adding features to them to make it visible and noticeable when someone is accessing the information," Nicolai Marquardt, a Ph.D. student at the University of Calgary said during the Computer Human Interaction conference in Atlanta Wednesday.
He said that his project can also make it possible for users to control when the information on the card is being accessed.

With RFID being embedded into everyday items like passports, credit cards and transit passes, security becomes a concern with the always-on technology.

Marquardt is working with Microsoft Research in the U.K. on the project and has four distinct types of RFID controllers.

The first group gives the user direct feedback. There's one that lights up, one that vibrates and one that makes a sound when the tag is being accessed.

The next group has controllable tags. One has a button that needs to be pressed before the RFID becomes active. Another one is touch sensitive so, for example, someone needs to be holding the tag in order to read the information on it.

The third group of tags has sensing properties. One is light sensitive, so data can't be accessed when the card is in a pocket. Another is tilt sensitive so it can only be accessed when pressed flat against a reader.

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