No hiding place for anyone – No hiding place for anyone. Embedded in bank notes or designer labels, the “mu-chip” can beep out the owner's location and details to marketers and thieves alike

In today's information age, everybody leaves an electronic trail in their wake. With every credit-card purchase, ATM transaction, telephone call and Internet logon, they create an electronic portrait of themselves that grows clearer at every step. Perhaps the only items that are still untraceable are people's clothes, cash and day-to-day movements. But with the introduction of Hitachi's new “mu-chip”, even these could become common knowledge.

The Hitachi chip is the world's smallest wireless identification device. It measures 0.4 millimetres square and is thin enough to be embedded in paper. It can hold only 128 bits of read-only memory, and do little more than spit out a unique identification number, when asked, to a distance of about 30 centimetres. It uses the same frequency band (2.45 gigahertz) as such longer-range wireless networking technologies as Bluetooth and 802.11b. But with the mu-chip's tiny size come some large implications. [Privacy Digest]

Leave a comment