The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.
The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.
For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.
The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.
This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.
Friday, January 09, 2004
When rumours surfaced in 2003 that the European Central Bank was quietly planning to put RFID (radio frequency identification) tags in euro banknotes to combat fraud and money laundering, privacy groups balked at the possibility that anybody with an RFID reader could count the money in wallets of passers by.
While the rumours have not been confirmed or denied a new generation of casino chips with built-in RFID tags is giving an insight into the way banks and shops could keep track of real money if it were tagged. The chips will be launched later in 2004 and will allow casino operators to spot counterfeits and thefts, and also to monitor the behaviour of gamblers.
RFID tags are tiny silicon chips that broadcast a unique identification code when prompted by a reader device. The tags do not need batteries, since they simply modify the radio signal fired at them by the reader. The readers work over distances ranging from a few centimetres to a few dozen metres, depending on the type of tag.
Counterfeit chips have long been a problem for casinos, and houses routinely mark their chips with inks visible only in infrared or ultraviolet light. Embedded RFID tags should make the chips much harder to counterfeit, and placing tag readers at staff exits could cut down on theft by employees.
The tags could also help casinos manage large-scale theft. If a large stash of chips goes missing after a table is overturned during an argument, for example casinos sometimes have to change their entire stock. This is unpopular with gamblers, since any chips that they have not cashed become worthless. RFID tags would allow the casinos to identify stolen chips without the expensive process of restocking.
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