A consortium that is studying the security and privacy implications of RFID tags has won a $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The RFID Consortium for Security and Privacy (RFID CUSP), which is made up of both academics and industry professionals, will recommend methods for ensuring that RFID is deployed in a manner that is safe both for consumers and for companies using the technology.
Thegrant will be used by professors and graduate students at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Johns Hopkins University. Kevin Fu, assistant professor in the computer science department at UMass, is leading the consortium. Computer security firm RSA Laboratories has agreed to accept a high-profile role as sponsor and a developer of security tools and protocols.
"Our approach is twofold," says Fu. "We seek to make sure that the privacy of the device bearer isn't compromised. At the same time, we must prevent fraud and abuse of RFID-based systems."
In addition, Fu hopes some of the funding can be used to support undergraduate engineering courses on RFID technology and security tools.