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RFID Privacy & Safety Concerns

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Telaeris and Point Loma Nazarene University MBA students teamed up to conduct a research study.

This study sought to evaluate how people weigh the balance between the privacy concerns and potential benefits of using RFID technology to track people.

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RFID Privacy & Safety Concerns

  1. 1. Privacy vs. Safety Acceptance of Tracking Technology
  2. 2. www.telaeris.com Introduction Telaeris and Point Loma Nazarene University MBA students teamed up to conduct a research study. This study sought to evaluate how people weigh the balance between the privacy concerns and potential benefits of using RFID technology to track people.
  3. 3. www.telaeris.com Research Objectives Assess stakeholder perceived benefits and concerns with respect to selected RFID people tracking applications. Measure respondent assessments of various methods of allaying concerns. Determine whether attitudes vary significantly by key demographic groups.
  4. 4. www.telaeris.com Methodology A Qualtrics-hosted web survey was designed with substantial inputs from Telaeris management. A solicitation email with a link to the survey was sent out to a Telaeris-provided email list and the survey was also posted to LinkedIn to allow for participation by the followers of the Telaeris CEO. All data was processed and analyzed using SPSS.
  5. 5. www.telaeris.com Limitations Small sample size (n = 140) due to limited email lists and social media reach. Sample frame was limited to the Telaeris, Inc. contact list and it may not draw on audiences who aren’t security related yet still have concerns.
  6. 6. www.telaeris.com Demographics of Respondents
  7. 7. www.telaeris.com Respondents Working in the Security Industry • Majority of respondents do work for a company that provides services or solutions that use RFID • 42% work in industries outside of security solutions
  8. 8. www.telaeris.com Industries Respondents Work In
  9. 9. www.telaeris.com Number of Employees at Respondent's Companies
  10. 10. www.telaeris.com Approximate Respondent Position in Company
  11. 11. www.telaeris.com Age of Respondents
  12. 12. www.telaeris.com Respondents’ Ethnicity
  13. 13. www.telaeris.com Highest Degree Achieved
  14. 14. www.telaeris.com Children Under the Age of 18 at Home?
  15. 15. www.telaeris.com Knowledge of RFID Technology
  16. 16. www.telaeris.com SURVEY QUESTIONS KNOWLEDGE OF RFID: • TECHNOLOGY • CAPABILITIES • STANDARDS 1. How knowledgeable would you say you are about RFID? (Not at all - Extremely) 2. Please list RFID: • Applications • Benefits • Concerns
  17. 17. www.telaeris.com Average Knowledge of RFID
  18. 18. www.telaeris.com Verbatims: Applications of RFID
  19. 19. www.telaeris.com Verbatims: Benefits of RFID
  20. 20. www.telaeris.com Verbatims: Concerns of RFID
  21. 21. www.telaeris.com SURVEY QUESTIONS Pre-Image Vs. Post-Image Knowledge How often do you think you have used a product or item containing an RFID chip in the last month?
  22. 22. www.telaeris.com RFID Technology Use in the Last Month
  23. 23. www.telaeris.com IMPORTANCE OF RFID CONCERNS
  24. 24. www.telaeris.com Concerns: # 1: Management Monitoring #2: Hackers Skimming Data #3: Government Tracking #4: Radiation Risk #5: Implantable RFID Chips SURVEY QUESTIONS 1. Which concern with RFID was most important? 2. What is the most effective solution for each concern?
  25. 25. www.telaeris.com Average Level Of Importance for RFID Concerns
  26. 26. www.telaeris.com SURVEY QUESTIONS Management Monitoring Concern #1: Tracking people by RFID could be used by management to monitor where employees are and what they are doing.
  27. 27. www.telaeris.com Concern Level for Management Monitoring Mean = 3.11 Moderate level of concern. No significant difference in level of concern by sub-group.
  28. 28. www.telaeris.com Effective Ways to Address Management Monitoring Provide educational resources as to how the technology avoids this problem. RANK RESPONSE MEAN RANK 1 Educational Resources 2.29 2 Case Histories 2.37 3 Employee Opt-Out Option 2.81 4 Company Policies 3.16 5 Other 4.37
  29. 29. www.telaeris.com Verbatim: Other Ways to Address Manager Monitoring
  30. 30. www.telaeris.com SURVEY QUESTIONS Hackers Skimming Data Concern #2: Hackers could skim individual’s private data from RFID cards and tags.
  31. 31. www.telaeris.com Concern Level for Hackers Skimming Private Data Mean = 3.86, High level of concern for hackers skimming data. Many significant differences in sub-group perceptions.
  32. 32. www.telaeris.com Concerns about Hackers Skimming Data by Sub-Groups • Respondents from companies involved with RFID technology applications were significantly less concerned about hacking than other respondents. • Respondents from small companies (1-50 employees) were significantly less concerned than respondents from large companies (500+ employees). • Younger respondents (18-30) were significantly less concerned than older employees (40-65). • Respondents with less than a Bachelor’s degree were significantly less concerned than respondents with a Bachelor’s or advanced degrees.
  33. 33. www.telaeris.com Effective Ways to Address Hackers Skimming Data Provide educational resources as to how the technology avoids this problem. RANK RESPONSE MEAN Rank 1 Educational Resources 1.99 2 Case Histories 2.70 3 Employee Opt-Out Option 2.70 4 Company Policies 3.09 5 Other 4.54
  34. 34. www.telaeris.com Verbatim: Other Ways to Address Hackers Skimming Data The industry needs to support the equivalent of CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) to fix issues Do not put private data on the card Show the data up front so they are informed & not speculating Provide two factor authentication required to read the tags.
  35. 35. www.telaeris.com Government Tracking SURVEY QUESTIONS Concern #3: RFID is a tool that the government could use to track people.
  36. 36. www.telaeris.com Concern about Government Tracking Mean = 3.1 Moderate Concern Younger respondents (18-30) are significantly less concerned than older respondents (31-45; 45-65).
  37. 37. www.telaeris.com Ways to Address Government Misuse (Verbatims)
  38. 38. www.telaeris.com SURVEY QUESTIONS Radiation Risk Concern #4: RFID tags and readers could pose a radiation risk.
  39. 39. www.telaeris.com Concern Level for Radiation Risk Mean = 1.81 Lowest Concern overall Concern levels did vary by sub-groups
  40. 40. www.telaeris.com Concern Level Significantly Lower for: RFID involved respondents Caucasians (vs non-caucasians) Respondents from large companies (vs. mid sized companies) Respondents with more than Bachelor’s degree
  41. 41. www.telaeris.com Ways to Address Radiation Concern (Verbatims)
  42. 42. www.telaeris.com SURVEY QUESTIONS Implantable RFID Chips Concern #5: Implantable RFID chips could be used as universal identification for everything from security to payment.
  43. 43. www.telaeris.com Concern Level for Implantable RFID Chips Mean = 3.26 Moderate concern (2nd highest). Non-Caucasians are significantly more concerned than Caucasians about this issue.
  44. 44. www.telaeris.com Ways to Address an Implant Concern (Verbatims)
  45. 45. www.telaeris.com Case Studies 1. Tracking School Children with RFID Tags 2. Worker Tracking with RFID tags
  46. 46. www.telaeris.com Case 1: School Children Privacy vs. Concerns Mean = 4.64; Non-Caucasians (mean 3.53) significantly more concerned about the privacy issues than Caucasians (mean 5.07). Support = 71% , Don’t Support = 29%
  47. 47. www.telaeris.com Expected Parental Reactions (Verbatims)
  48. 48. www.telaeris.com Case 2: Employee Tracking Privacy vs. Concerns Mean = 4.42. Non-Caucasians (Mean = 3.71) significantly more concerned about the privacy issues than Caucasians (Mean 4.76). Respondents from small firms (50-200) are more positive about the benefits than respondents from larger companies.
  49. 49. www.telaeris.com Expected Employee Reactions (Verbatims) Support = 46% , Don’t Support = 54%
  50. 50. www.telaeris.com PRIVACY CONCERNS VS. BENEFITS SECURITY SAFETY EFFICIENCY CONVENIENCE
  51. 51. www.telaeris.com Security, Safety, Efficiency, Convenience
  52. 52. www.telaeris.com Benefit vs Privacy Tradeoffs by Demographic Groups Respondents in RFID related services rate the security benefit of RFID significantly higher than respondents who work for non-RFID related firms. Respondents in larger companies (e.g., > 500 employees) are significantly less impressed by the safety benefit than respondents from smaller companies (e.g., 50 employees or less) Respondents in mid-sized companies (e.g., 50-200; 201-500 employees) are significantly less impressed by the convenience benefit than respondents from smaller companies (e.g., 50 employees or less)
  53. 53. www.telaeris.com CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS
  54. 54. www.telaeris.com Conclusions Hackers skimming data is the largest concern of respondents and must be addressed by security solutions companies. This is less of an issue for respondents who come from the industry, are younger, are from smaller companies, or have less education Radiation risks are not a significant concern for this sample.
  55. 55. www.telaeris.com Conclusions cont’d The most highly ranked interventions are education, case histories, and employee opt out options. • Non-Caucasians are significantly more concerned about both the student- and the employee-tracking application cases than Caucasians. • Respondents are generally strongly positive towards the security, safety, and convenience benefits of RFID but are more neutral about the efficiency benefit.
  56. 56. www.telaeris.com Recommendations The survey worked well. The main limitation for the study were: 1. the limited number of respondents 2. the limited sample frame from which respondents were drawn, i.e., contacts and social media followers of Telaeris.
  57. 57. www.telaeris.com Recommendations Cont’d We recommend: • Pursuing other sample frames such as the Security Industry Association, and other, non- security related associations. • Continuing the collection of responses so as to “increase the power of the test” of differences among demographic groups concerning RFID benefits and concerns. • In particular, the attitudinal differences we uncovered based on ethnicity should be explored further.

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