iPod Sport Kit scanner sounds privacy alarm

It’s getting harder and harder to have fun.

Now comes word that the Nike + iPod Sport Kit is a danger because it broadcasts its user information for up to 60 feet in all directions, enabling people with the right tracking devices to follow their quarry indefinitely. The transmitter, which rests in one of the shoes, is an RFID device, which screams out a unique radio frequency combination.

A team of scientists at the University of Washington built a scanner that could read those Sport Kit RFID signals and use Google Maps to follow a person. The result was a handy, homemade device that could track anyone and everyone running blissfully along, unaware of the potential threat they faced.

The scientists did this to make a point, but it makes us wonder whether they were indeed the first to do such a thing. If you’re using this Sport Kit or any kind of RFID device, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your surroundings.


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