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Ethical Uses Of Radio Frequency Identification

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Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) transmits stored information between a reader and a tag, over low frequency electromagnetic radiation, the transmitted information can then be used for a variety of purposes, which make it essential to modern society, including uses in: identification, security, payment, and tracking. While RFID has a significant number of uses, there are a number of ethical issues which must be tackled.

The wave through which the information is transmitted is referred to as the carrier wave, in RFID the carrier wave is in the radio frequency (electromagnetic radiation with frequencies between 3 kHz – 300 GHz) (Mai, 2017). RFID predominantly uses three radio bands; low frequency (125 – 134 kHz), high frequency (13.56
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Thus, the type of tag used will depend on the desired application.

RFID is a large industry, with applications in identification, payment, access control, and more. In 2014 the world market for RFID was estimated to be US$8.89 billion, in 2026, it is predicted to reach US$18.68 billion (Das, 2017). However, as more uses become apparent and the technology continues to develop it is possible that the industry will grow at an even greater rate than projected. RFID has become more prevalent in modern society due to RFID tags becoming more economically viable; in 2003, a passive tag was estimated to cost $1, while in 2013, it was only $0.10, thus more widespread implementation of RFID is possible, as it becomes less expensive. (Thau, 2017).

Most modern banks cards are embedded with passive tags, which allows secure payments to be made when in close proximity with the reader (referred to as contactless payment). In Australia transactions under $100 can be made without inputting the PIN, this helps improve the efficiency of transactions, and thus reduces waiting times (Heffernan, 2016). Contactless cards are also commonly employed in Public transport systems around the world. For instance, in greater London Oyster Cards possess passive RFID tags which streamline transaction efficiency and reducing waste from paper tickets across public transport (Muller, 2016).

A common application of RFID technology is the identification
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