For example, this guy says:

To that end, the ZRK [Japanese alien ID card] has an embedded IC Chip with RFID technology, which, as I have argued for years now, is a means to remotely track NJ [non-Japanese]] in a crowd and beef up racial profiling.

Note that this card contains an ISO/IEC 14443 type B passive proximity chip.

Now, I am well aware of demonstrations of (a) activating an RFID chip at distance with special equipment, and (b) creating a massive field to activate a chip, but there is a big difference between these experiments with isolated cards and the real world.

Making the case against being able to remote scan, given the typical punter will have a wallet containing other RFID chips such as railway commuter cards, driving license, mobile phone and maybe work ID, then lots of other bits of metal, so the amount of extraneous noise will drown out the signal.

On the other hand, I have read somewhere that type of chip can be identified (even if not read) by the signal absorption patterns.

So, to narrow the scope, I wish to ask:

  • Would it be possible to detect the presence of a particular RFID chip model in the trouser pocket of someone as they walked through a ticket gate?
  • US school children are tracked with RFID chips, so it looks like it's possible - bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20461752
    – Tom77
    Nov 23 '12 at 15:55
  • That's just sloppy reporting, I believe - they have to badge in and out of the toilets and whatever, I would guess. Plus the cards may be active cards. Without further information it's impossible to say "it's possible".
    – Ken Y-N
    Nov 24 '12 at 4:20
  • One of the definitions of the word remotely is "without physical contact". There is no doubt that RFID does exactly that.
    – vartec
    Nov 26 '12 at 16:53

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