Radio Frequency Identification

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are tiny computer chips that can be encoded with any type of information. These chips are embedded within documents or objects to be used for monitoring or tracking purposes. When an RFID reader emits a radio signal, the RFID tags in the vicinity respond by automatically transmitting their stored information to the reader, at a distance, without alerting anyone that the tag is being read.

RFID technology originally gained a foothold in the commercial sector as a means to allow real-time monitoring and tracking of cattle in the fields and inventory moving through the supply chain.

The U.S. government initiated the rollout of RFID-embedded passports, and there are potential plans to embed RFID tags in other identification documents (see our information on the