EDITOR’S NOTE: Many people are under the impression that RFID wristbands are used for GPS-like tracking. Another common myth is that the technology stores personal information, which can be compromised or sold. The story below highlights four myth busters on RFID wristbands that are worth noting:
1. You cannot track the whereabouts of someone wearing an RFID wristband. The RFID tags that Intellitix use at live events are passive and have a read range of approximately two inches (four centimetres). Consequently, unless the wristband wearer actively places their band close to a reader (such as at a festival entrance to validate their entry ‘ticket’, or to connect directly with a new band or on social media) their location is unknown. Cider drinkers can still get happily drunk and wake up in a hedge with no one being any the wiser…
2. Data sharing is optional. No data about a patron is shared with a third party without their express permission or knowledge. Should a patron choose to share their data with a band or sponsor, it would entirely up to them. The heart of the festival experience remains unaffected by RFID unless a patron wants to benefit from some of the many benefits that it offers. The experience is nonetheless optional. Using a mobile phone, buying anything online (including a ticket) and owning a credit card involves sharing far more data than having fun at a festival while wearing an RFID wristband.
3. RFID chips cannot be easily cloned and used. Even though no personal information is held on a RFID chip, Intellitix uses many security measures to ensure that they cannot be abused. All communications and data in our system is encrypted with a minimum of 256-bit, and our encryption is changed between every event.
4. No personal information is held on the RFID wristband. Each RFID wristband contains a unique identification number that is effectively a ‘key’ to unlock a specific user profile, which is held securely on a heavily secured event database. This data can be as limited as a transaction reference number that validates entry, or if the patron has chosen to volunteer more information, it can also contain more such as social media profile information or funds for purchasing goods on site. You probably have more chance of receiving a billion dollars from a rich Nigerian widow via email than having your identity stolen at an RFID-enabled festival.