NFC technology has been attracting a lot of attention for some time. The technology is quite simple in that it can transfer digital information over short distances. NFC is most commonly seen in the mobile commerce field, yet it is in this sector that questions regarding the safety of NFC came to prominence. Because NFC deals with the financial information of consumers in the mobile sector, the technology’s capabilities to protect this information have become a serious issue.
The security issues of NFC are difficult to grasp in many cases. NFC itself is simply a collection of standards and concepts that govern the wireless transmission of digital information over short distances. As such, NFC standards have little need for security features and these standards are conceptual rather than physical.
Security problems concerning NFC are often misdirected toward the technology itself when a more significant problem may exist in the lack of security in mobile commerce platforms and certain mobile applications. Mobile commerce services that are not protected by security software are at risk of exploitation and those consumers that make use of these services could have their personal information stolen. Google Wallet, which has become a somewhat popular mobile commerce platform, experienced serious security problems in the early days of its launch. Many of these problems were attributed to its use of NFC technology, but the platform itself had only a modest level of protection that hackers were easily able to circumvent.
Whether NFC technology is safe is a difficult question to answer. A better question may be whether or not mobile applications and services are safe enough to be used alongside NFC technology.