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O'REILLY eTECH :  An RFID Tech Demonstration by Xeni Jardin and Pablos Holman + featuring the STEWART/STAND Stainless Steel Bill Fold

The O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference attracts the most progressive players in technology. At one of the conferences, Boing Boing TV’s Xeni Jardin met up at eTech with Pablos Holman, a Hacker and Futurist to demonstrate RFID technology and how it has changed the features to you should look for when shopping for a new wallet.

Pablos has been researching the security  - or lack their of - in credit cards. He was able to purchase a reader on eBay for 8$. Xeni Jardin demonstrated that by sitting next to Pablos her credit card number, name, expiration date and billing info shows up on Pablos’ laptop screen.

During their demonstration, the concern becomes clear. The issue is not the information on one credit card. We should consider the different types of data we carry at once. If we are traveling, we even have our passport with us, which all are now RFID enabled. Readers will pick up all information printed on your passport + data from each credit card. This is enough information to steel your identity along with some current billing information from the RFID chips in our wallets... any other forms of ID are simply a bonus.

“Now, we can take that online, start shopping.” is an understatement.

The credit card industry understands quite clearly, that creating a secure system isn’t the priority. A system that “feels” secure to the user is. It is easier to get credit card numbers today than it was with the old credit card.

Xeni and Pablos test out our stainless steel wallet, demonstrating it’s effectiveness. No beeping, the credit card can not be read by the reader. With a bigger antenna than this, Pablos notes he could go into a starbucks and get the name of everyone there. As he demonstrated earlier, he could get a whole lot more than their names, off anyone without a stainless steel wallet.

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