Privacy and Security in Library RFID

David Molnar, Berkeley

We expose privacy issues related to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in libraries, describe current deployments, and suggest novel architectures for library RFID. Unlike supply-chain RFID, library RFID requires item-level tagging, thereby raising immediate patron privacy issues. Current conventional wisdom suggests that privacy risks are negligible if the data on an RFID is limited to a bar code; we show this is not the case.

We further identify private authentication as a key technical issue: how can a reader and tag that share a secret efficiently authenticate each other without revealing their identities to an adversary? Previous solutions to this problem require reader work linear in the number of tags and cryptographic primitives such as collision-resistant hash functions or pseudo-random functions. We give a general scheme for building private authentication with work logarithmic in the number of tags. Finally, we discuss directions for future work.

Gates 4B (opposite 490) Thursday 12/02/04 1630 hrs