Q&A on Validactor - The Global Anti-counterfeiting solution

Secure Anti-Counterfeit and Data Analysis

Protect, Track & Manage your products

The innovative software of Validactor serialises any product unit. Using Validactor any customer with a smartphone can check on the fly if a product is authentic, expired, stolen and much more, including product's characteristics.

Firstly, What is Validactor?

Validactor is a full set of digital services that includes an innovative anti-counterfeiting set of services for manufacturing companies, an innovative products social network for end users, a profiling and fidelization tool and more.

How does Validactor work?

Manufacturing companies serialise their products generating a digital record for each unit. The record is accessible via unique graphic codes readable by any smartphone (we could also use IoT sensors such as RDIDs and NFC sensors, but we discourage these as the cost of implementation is high and the real benefits for final customers are limited). Users can check the authenticity of the product by scanning these graphic codes that we call VACodes. VACodes are generated by the manufacturers to manage a series of activities such as recalls, expiration dates, alerts, warranties and more.
Users can verify VAcodes by using any QRCode Reader. To get the full potentialities and benefits offered by Validactor we strongly encourage the use of our FREE Android or iOS APPs to scan the VACodes and interact with manufacturers, distributors and resellers.

What is a VACode?

A VACode is a special version of a QR Code created by Validactor to access products data and their status. VACodes do not contain any data, they are a shortcut to access products data securely stored on Cloud servers. A typical VACode only contain an https string composed by a fixed part, the address, and a variable part for each unit: the unit identifier.

Can VACodes be copied?

Yes, VACodes can be copied by anyone as they are nothing else than graphic images. Since Validactor's technology does not require any taggant, special ink or IoT sensor, VACodes can be copied by anyone by simply scanning it or by photographing it. It is very simple.

If VACodes can be copied, how do you protect items?

Obviously we know all this and so we have developed our technology filled up with proprietary algorithms. I will not go deeply into it as we do not want to ease fakers lives but I can mention that when protecting our VACodes we take into account the precise geolocation of the planned distribution of any specific item, the number of pre-sale scans allowed, its status, the condition (sold or not) and other not-disclosable conditions. The mismatch of one or more conditions will alert the entire production and distribution We foresee difficult days for counterfeiters and friends.

VACodes are unique for each item, how difficult is to print them?

VACodes can be printed in any color, any size although we recommend a minimum side of 1,3cm (0,5 in). Vacodes, being unique for each label or box, are not to be printed during label of packaging creation. VACodes are printed with the same technology used for printing lot. numbers, expiration dates or special warnings. Moreover VACodes can be applied to already packaged items by distributors or even retailers. Here a sample file with serialized wine labels.

Why there is a product' social page?

The social pages present the products serialized and protected by Validactor and offer - among other things - a way to keep track and benefit from special offers on the products the customers are interested in. Products can be filtered and shown according to personal preferences. The social pages are managed, on a product basis by the manufacturer itself as an extension of its webstore. The printing of VACodes since no special ink or technology is required has no impact of the final cost of production. In special cases VACodes can be printed directly on the items, marking indelibly such items. Garments can have their VACodes printed in the inner side, skis may have the same VACode printed on each ski, this will also benefit from the Lost & Found unique and free technology.

Why registering to the social pages (and to the Apps)?

The Validactor social page can remember your choice in terms of product, manufacturer and category provided it knows who you are. Once registered and logged-in you can select and filter your product visualisation choices; these will remain active until disabled or changed. Is it also possible to log-in using one of the social network logins available.
The social page and the Apps share the same login credentials.

Will Validactor send many unrequested mails?

No, Validactor will only send a maximum of 4 mails a year. Validactor does not share your email address or personal data with anyone.

Will the Validactor social pages interact with users?

The Validactor social pages allows interactions between final customers and manufacturers. Final customers can express their appreciations about the products in graphic format. Each kind of feedback - either negative or positive - has a numeric value that will be integrated in product profile to generate periodical statistics on product acceptance by customers. This data will be filtered by location, time, date and customer profile.

Is the product portal also a selling tool?

Yes, based on the information and data each manufacturer will display, the Validactor product portal is also a product store front where to sell products directly or where customers can be redirected to the companies' websites.

What is the structure of the Validactor product portal?

The Validactor product portal has been designed having in mind the Pinterest layout. Each registered user can filter its selections with no limits in each sub category and by country of origin of the products. This will avoid the view of products each customer is not interested in.

Why is it preferable to use the Validactor App?

Only using a proprietary App it is possible to get profiling data. The usage of any other third party APP will only display product characteristics. This is because of the access to the App developer own database.

Is Validactor free?

Validactor is and will always be free for final customers. None of the services offered to final customers will require a fee.

Will there be a version of the PVS for individuals?

It is already there. Any individual can register and login to the social pages ( to generate an unlimited number of VACodes to protect and retrieve - if lost - any personal item.

How precise is geo location?

Geolocation in most cases is extremely accurate. We geo position each scan based on GSM towers triangulations and by the presence of Wi-Fi hubs.

Why we have decided NOT to use RFID tags to protect products

Validactor doesn't use RFID tags because these are not supported by the services offered by our system. Moreover - and this is the most important reason - the level of security provided by RFID tags and scanners is not up to the level of security guaranteed by Validactor.


RFID tags are a great asset and technology if used within the manufacturing site and within the points of sale; on the contrary, they are useless after the product has been sold (and it is not more placed inside the store).

Below, some of the reasons that led us not to use RFID Tags

Problems with RFID Standards

Different manufacturers have implemented RFID in different ways; global standards are still being worked on. As a consequence, some RFID devices are never meant to leave their network (as in the case of RFID tags used for inventory control within a company). This can cause problems for companies. Consumers may also have problems with RFID standards. In fact the presence of different standards cannot ensure common services, and most important, not all the standards are supported by consumer smartphones.

RFID systems can be easily disrupted

Since RFID systems make use of the electromagnetic spectrum (like WiFi networks or cell phones), they are relatively easy to jam using energy at the right frequency. Although this would only be an inconvenience for consumers in stores (longer waits at the checkout), it could be disastrous in other environments where RFID is increasingly used, like hospitals or in the military field. Also, active RFID tags (those that use a battery to increase the range of the system) can be repeatedly interrogated to wear the battery down, disrupting the system.

RFID Reader Collision

Reader collision occurs when the signals from two or more readers overlap. The tag is unable to respond to simultaneous queries. Systems must be carefully set up to avoid this problem.

RFID Tag Collision

Tag collision occurs when many tags are present in a small area such as a store or a store shelf; it is necessary to develop systems that ensure that tags respond one at a time. This is extremely complex. A Validactor graphic tag does not have this type of problem.

Security, privacy and ethics problems with RFID

The contents of a RFID tag can be read after the item leaves the supply chain. A RFID tag cannot tell the difference between one reader and another. RFID scanners are very portable; RFID tags can be read from a certain distance, from few centimetres to several meters. This allows anyone to see the contents of your purse or pocket as you walk down the street. Some tags can be turned off when the item has left the supply chain, but this will block all of the advantages of being logged into a system such as Validactor.

RFID tags are difficult to remove

RFID tags are difficult for consumers to remove; some are very small (less than a half-millimetre square, and as thin as a sheet of paper); others may be hidden or embedded inside a product where consumers cannot see them. New technologies allow RFID tags to be "printed" right on a product and may not be removable at all (in any case this requires special technologies and special inks). This may cause problems related to privacy and unwanted personal identification.

RFID tags can be read without your knowledge

Since the tags can be read without being swiped or obviously scanned (this is the case of Validactor VACodes), anyone with an RFID tag reader can read the tags embedded in your clothes and other consumer products without your knowledge. For example, a clerk could scan your purse or backpack before you enter the store, just to see what you are carrying. Having inspected your purse, the clerk could then suggest that you should buy accessories or other items. This is a clear privacy violation.

RFID tags can be read at greater distances with a high-gain antenna

For various reasons, RFID reader/tag systems are designed so that distance between the tag and the reader is kept to a minimum. However, a high-gain antenna can be used to read the tags from much further away, leading – again - to privacy problems.

RFID tags with unique serial numbers could be linked to an individual credit card number

The Universal Product Code (UPC) implemented with barcodes allows at present each product sold in a store to have a unique number that identifies that product. (Similarly, Validactor serializes each individual item by assigning unique identification numbers.) When the item is scanned for purchase and is paid, the RFID tag number for that particular item can be associated with a credit card number. If an unauthorized device reads the RFID tag, the credit card information can be stolen.

These are only some of the reasons why Validactor does not use any active or passive RFID tag. Security is paramount for us and we are sure that storing sensible data on “open & easily readable” tags is a good idea.

Do you want to know more about RFID technology? Read this Wikipedia Article

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