May 23, 2018
Is non-clonability and trackability sufficient as an Anti-Counterfeit Strategy ?
Tracking and anti-counterfeiting are two different problem of supply chain. Many times supply chain experts try overloading a tracking technology for anti-counterfeit use-case. Can non clone-able NFC (that does not require purpose built RF reader by end-consumers) be used for anti-counterfeit use-case without getting misused ? Though there is no reason to believe that non clone-able NFC can be cloned in usual situation. But whether being non clone-able and track-able is only requirement of anti-counterfeiting or there is something more needed.
The authenticity of security tags like NFC is verified by scanning them, but the finer detail to account for failed scans (technology issue, blank/fake NFC tag) in not addressed due to lack of visual verification for evident tampering. Since NFC tags can be made non scan-able without any visually evident damages there is no accountability in supply chain. Due to lack of visually evident damage (intentional or accidental) for NFC tags rendering them un-scanable, there is no accountability in supply chain. Finer point that this post attempts to articulate the importance of vision technology based scanning for anti-counterfeit use-case in contrast to RF scanning. For RF scanning there is no visual difference between a genuine NFC tags and blank tags.
Blank tags will not be identified as blank rather it will be identified as defective. Product can be managed to be sold or in worst condition fake units tagged with blank tags can even be returned to brand owner on account that NFC tag is non scan-able. Since NFC tags can be made non scan-able without any visually evident damages there is no accountability in supply chain.While non-clonability is a must-have security feature, provisioning for visually evident tampering is a necessity to prevent intentional misuse of technology.