RFID-Blocking Jeans To Go On Sale Soon!
Happy New Year! We’re kicking off our 2015 blog program with a light-hearted story that has somewhat of a more serious undertone.
This year the retail clothing market will see the release of RFID-blocking jeans. This new product has been developed to combat growing security concerns about identity and personal information theft through ‘skimming’ the RFID chips which are typically found on bank cards and credit cards nowadays.
According to the Australian Payments Clearing Association, nearly AU$36 million was lost via Australian issued cards, or overseas issued cards used in Australia, due to counterfeit skimming in the 2014 financial year. However, whilst skimming can be a concern for consumers, the amount of money lost to this type of fraud has been falling in recent years due to sophisticated technology employed by the banks.
Interestingly, the new jeans have been crowd-designed and crowd-funded by Betabrand with support from anti-virus firm Norton. The jeans are intended to stop thieves hacking into radio frequency identification (RFID) tagged passports or contactless payment cards.
Their developer claims that they not only ‘look great and fit even better’, but they feature two pockets lined with RFID-blocking fabric which shield wallets and credit cards from scanning devices.
Other companies like Disklabs already use similar technology to make pouches and wallets, which, like the Betabrand jeans, block RFID signals. They also manufacture ‘Faraday Bags’ which block cell signals, satellite, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth frequencies, and are used by law enforcement, intelligence agencies, defence and forensics to secure portable digital devices and reduce the risk of on-board data being wiped from a remote location.
The new RFID-blocking jeans will reportedly go on sale in April 2015, however, for the more budget-conscious there are a wide array of security wallets and pouches that block RFID signals available online. And you won’t have to worry about fitting into those after the Christmas break!