BlackBerry mobile phones – implicated in erasing smart card data?

Posted: July 29, 2011 in RFID shielding options
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Blackberry users buy RFID Protective shields for gift cards and hotel passes in a bid to prevent unplanned data erasureNews has come to light that BlackBerry mobile (cell) phones pack more of a punch than perhaps their designers had bargained for!  It seems that the devices can emit an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) when in use that’s so powerful it can wipe the data from certain smart cards when in close proximity; (in the main hotel passes and e-gift cards are at most risk).  This can be really frustrating if you find yourself locked out of a hotel room after hours!

The good news is that most credit, debit, ATM and ID cards remain unaffected by this phenomenon.  Also, by placing e-gift cards or hotel passes within a RFID protective shield there’s no problem keeping your BlackBerry mobile in the vicinity of these items. has conducted extensive research into this issue, providing the following useful thoughts:

“…my testing provides strong evidence – if not irrefutable proof – that a cell phone in a holster/case with a magnetic latch [or a cell phone alone without its holster/case], can damage a gift card.”

“…this testing strengthens my belief that a cell phone with [or without a holster case] can probably damage a hotel room key card.”


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