NFC [ Near Field Communication ] is a clever outgrowth from RFID. This group of short-range wireless communication standards will enable all kinds of conveniences previously un-attainable with our so-called mobile devices. Mostly phones, but practically any un-wired NFC-capable device, eventually, will be able to communicate witho other NFC-capable devices, giving the consumers a wide range of features for commerce, information exchange and ad-hoc authentication. Unfortunately, NFC continues in the trend where design for security came in as an after-thought, rather than a primary focus, going in. Perhaps it’s not fair to place the security burden on NFC, after all, it’s merely a low-level transport mechanism. What’s the worst that could happen?
It’s a simple to envision scenario. As a perspective shopper crosses the brick-and-mortar threshold, between embedded RFID and NFC, what’s inside of my wallet is quickly scanned. This isn’t your grandparents’ era of business analytics based on years and years of historic data warehouses, this is near-real time data gathering and heuristic algorithmic triggers that may sample the cologne I’m wearing, track my line of sight eye movements between the aisles and possibly even processing bits of my DNA left behind. Am I describing some scene from Minority Report? Hardly. This is active pursuits by some of the top mobile consumer technologies company currently. Remember last holiday season’s attempts to track supposedly anonymized GPS signals inside of malls?