Can Aluminum Shield RFID Chips?
There seems to be some confusion as to whether aluminum shielding can protect RFID chips in your pocket. This article claims that aluminum is not effective at stopping RFID transmission. We decided to test out the RFID Shield, which uses aluminum shielding and see just how well it really works.
The test was simple. We went to a local store that has an RFID enabled credit card reader and tested an RFID enabled card. The first test did not use any shielding. The card reader worked as expected. When the card was about four to six inches away from the reader, it beeped, meaning that it has read the information on the card.
The next step was to see how effective the RFID shield would be at protecting the information stored on the credit card from the reader in the store terminal. The card was placed in the protective sleeve and the above procedure was repeated.
The RFID reader did not recognize anything at the standard distance of four to six inches. The card was moved closer. The reader still did not read the card. The card was placed flush against the reader and rubbed, to see if any kind of reading would take place. Still nothing. The reader was unable to detect the card in the RFID Shield.
The next step was to see if the reader would read the card from a different angle. So we stood the RFID enabled credit card perpendicular to the reader, facing the open slit in the sleeve. Still nothing. No matter how hard we tried, the reader was unable to read any information from the card while it was shielded.
Once again, we removed the card from the RFID shield and the reader picked it up at the standard distance of a few inches
It looks like the RFID Shield does work! Aluminum shielding was able to completely prevent the reading of data from an RFID enabled card. While this does not directly dispute the claim that aluminum foil does not block RFID reading since we were not able to duplicate the above-mentioned experiment directly, it certainly goes to show that the aluminum shielded RFID Shield is quite effective at completely stopping the reading of RFID data in the most common situation.
Given the choice of having a naked RFID chip your private information in your pocket available for anyone to read is not comforting. It is good to know that by storing your credit card in a protective sleeve like the RFID Shield, any data thief or hacker cannot compromise your identity that easily.