Renewed speculations about RFID in Euro notes

By EDRi · August 25, 2005

The September edition of the German industry magazine Die Bank contains
renewed speculation about the introduction of spy-chips in the Euro
banknotes. The article discusses three possible new measures against the
counterfeiting of the notes; a new biological paint, a colour-switch foil
and the introduction of RFIDs (Radio Frequency Identification Devices) on
every note. The Hitachi Mu-chip, with its 0.18 micron size, is mentioned
as a likely candidate, as reported earlier in EDRI-gram. Though the
current price of approx. 7 eurocent per chip might be prohibitive, the
article also mentions a new invention by Philips to integrate the chip in
the paper completely.

The way the chip would work, is by storing a 38 digit number that cannot
be changed later on, containing both the unique serial number and data
about the origin of the note. The metal strip on every note could function
as antenna. To function properly, all current notes (8.2 billion) would
have to be replaced and every citizen should have access to readers, to
verify the authenticity of each note. The author of the article doesn’t
mention the privacy risks attached to the distribution of readers on a
massive scale; the fact that every potential criminal could secretly scan
the contents of every wallet.

Sicherheits-Innovationen: Banknoten der Zukunft (September 2005)

EDRI-gram: New rumours about spy chips in Euro notes (26.01.2005)