Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a modern approach to identify and track several assets at once in a supply chain environment. In many RFID applications, tagged items are frequently transferred from one owner to another. Thus, there is a need for secure ownership transfer (OT) protocols that can perform the transfer while, at the same time, protect the privacy of owners. Several protocols have been proposed in an attempt to fulfill this requirement. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive and systematic review of the RFID OT protocols that appeared over the years of 2005-2018. In addition, we compare these protocols based on the security goals which involve their support of OT properties and their resistance to attacks. From the presented comparison, we draw attention to the open issues in this field and provide suggestions for the direction that future research should follow. Furthermore, we suggest a set of guidelines to be considered in the design of new protocols. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive survey that reviews the available OT protocols from the early start up to the current state of the art.


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center


This work was supported by the Jordan University of Science and Technology under Project 259/2016.

Keywords and Phrases

Authentication; Electric resistance; Logic gates; Network protocols; Radio waves; Servers; Standards; Supply chains; Surveys; Delegation; Ownership transfer protocols; Ownership transfers; RFID applications; Security; Several protocols; Systematic Review; Trusted third parties; Radio frequency identification (RFID); EPC; RFID

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2018 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2018