The following images supplement a CASPIAN ( press release issued September 23, 2004.

Which company has secret,
item-level RFID tagging plans?

"These sure don't look like crate and pallet tags to me."
                                                    - Katherine Albrecht, CASPIAN

This assortment of clothing tags was on display at the Checkpoint exhibit at an industry conference last week.

At the Frontline Expo 2004 conference last week, Checkpoint revealed that one of their major clothing clients is secretly working on plans to incorporate item-level RFID tags into all of their merchandise in 2005. Could it be Abercrombie & Fitch? Old Navy? Calvin Klein? Carter's? Champion? Apparently the brand doesn't want its RFID involvement publicized; Checkpoint's lips were sealed.


Checkpoint's exhibit promoted "EPC/RFID for retail" for item-level RFID tagging, rather than supply chain or warehouse applications. This puts the company squarely at odds with the recommendations of privacy experts who have called for a moratorium on item-level tagging. No wonder they're keeping mum on their clients' plans.


These two tags Checkpoint RFID tags, masked with black tape, may offer a clue to the "mystery company." They were the only tags in the Checkpoint display which showed an effort to obscure the identity of the company involved. The attempt appears halfhearted, however, since the black tape covering the tags fails to conceal the  "Abercrombie & Fitch" collegiate logo at the lower right.


This label, reading "Checkpoint Systems RFID", was sewn into a Champion athletic wear jacket on display at the Checkpoint exhibit. Champion is owned by Sarah Lee Corporation, one of the earliest companies to invest in the development of EPC/RFID technology.

[For a closeup of the tag, click here


Interior view of a Checkpoint RFID clothing label. This is the same type of label that was sewn into the Champion jacket pictured above. [Click here to see a larger view]


An assortment of clothing tags displayed at the Checkpoint exhibit.


The backs of tags displayed at the Checkpoint exhibit.


This Calvin Klein fabric label was among the items featured at the Checkpoint RFID booth. Viewed from the front, it looks looks like an ordinary clothing label that would be sewn into the collar of a shirt or sweater.


Viewed from the back, however, it is apparent that the Calvin Klein clothing label contains a hidden RFID device. The device is only visible when viewed from the back. (Note the metallic antennae extending from either side.)


When the Calvin Klein clothing label is opened, the RFID device it contains can be clearly seen. Note the computer chip in the center of the tag and the metallic antenna extending from it. This chip contains a unique ID number that can be read remotely.


Checkpoint's signage at the trade show promotes the use of RFID tagging on store shelves, yet another violation of the recommendations of privacy experts concerned about previous and planned abuse of such systems.


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2003-2007 Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre. All Rights Reserved.