Talk:Soctech seminar, Spring 2007

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Spring 2007: RFID Technology: SLN 11994 CSE 590 T, Tuesday 12:30-1:20, CSE 303
Non-CSE students (including law) should register for the graded CSE 590 X - SLN 11981. Everything else is identical. Email travis (at for an add code.

In the past few years there has been more and more talk, both positive and negative, about the transformative potential of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology as it gets more and more viable. In a previous seminar, we explored the broader legal and sociopolitical implications of RFID, discussing privacy, security, and surveillance through a series of conversations with invited RFID experts and enthusiasts each week. We have drafted an unfinished whitepaper based on our discussions during that quarter.

During the fall quarter we are going to try something different: focus on a single, about-to-be-deployed technology in the Seattle region, specifically the ORCA card. We will then have the opportunity to discuss identity management, security, and surveillance issues with university and government. The goal is to engage in a dialogue with stakeholders that greatly influence the impact of technology on society but with whom we do not typically get to interact with as academics. As the new RFID-enabled ORCA husky card is not due to be deployed to students until 2008, our conversations may impact the conditions under which the card will be deployed.

Participation in the Fall 2006 soctech seminar is not a prerequisite for this seminar. We will begin the seminar with a technical overview of the capabilities of RFID, the regulatory landscape on which laws will be crafted, and a number of existing RFID deployments. During the following weeks, we will invite a guest from a variety of organizations, including the university adminstration, Seattle public transportation agencies, law experts, and ACLU representatives.

Seminar Organization

Contact information: This course is being organized by Yaw Anokwa (yanokwa at cs), Jim Sfekas, Evan Wellbourne (evan at cs), Colin Dixon (ckd at cs) and Travis Kriplean (travis at cs).

The seminar will be discussion-driven, each period led by a small group of seminar participants and/or including invited guest experts. Seminar participants will be expected to generate questions for our guest before seminar, but there won't be pressure to organize a class period.

Administrative info

Course grading and credit-load policies: Subject to change, but variable credits are available to meet differing levels of participation:

  • Sign up for 1 credit if you plan to attend, do the readings, and participate in discussions.
  • Sign up for 2 credits if you wish to organize a discussion by contacting a guest, coordinate their visit, and explaining why you chose them.
  • Sign up for 3 credits if you wish to be heavily involved in the planning process for the seminar. Contact the course organizers in advance if you plan to take this course for 3 credits.

Course Topics

Note: subject to change as we find guest speakers

02 Oct RFID History, Basic Technical Description, and Overview of Applications

Discussion led by Yaw and Travis
Main Wiki-contributors: Yaw and Travis

09 Oct What is RFID Actually Capable of? Technical Limitations, Privacy and Security in the RFID Ecosystem

Discussion led by Evan
Main Wiki-contributors:Danny

16 Oct RFID in Healthcare and the Home

Guest speaker Matthai Philipose
Main Wiki-contributors: Chad

23 Oct RFID and Databases

Guest speaker Magda Balazinska
Main Wiki-contributors:

30 Oct No class

06 Nov Existing RFID Deployments

Guest speaker Rene Martinez, chief scientist of Intermec
Main Wiki-contributors: Alan Liu

13 Nov A Policy For Privacy: Personal Information in RFID Systems

Guest speaker Steve Shafer of Microsoft Research
Main Wiki-contributors: Anna C.

20 Nov RFID Implants in Humans

Guest speaker Amal Graafstra
Main Wiki-contributors: Craig Prince

27 Nov Establishing a best practices guide for deployers of RFID technology

Guest speaker Bill Covington of the Law School
Main Wiki-contributors: Brian Ferris

04 Dec Roundtable on RFID research and experiences with privacy

Main Wiki-contributors:

Potential Speakers

Steven Shafer, Microsoft Research

A policy for RFID Privacy, addressing personal information in RFID systems.