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Thu 9 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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Smart cards set to get even smarter

As different uses for smart cards are spawned, new forms of cards with better security features will emerge, according to Rohit Khubchandani, account manager for Oceanic.

As different uses for smart cards are spawned, new forms of cards with better security features will emerge, according to Rohit Khubchandani, account manager for Oceanic.

Banks, which are the biggest customers for the industry, will be one of the main factors driving improved security in the technology. Pressing concerns about credit card fraud, for example, has already compelled vendors to develop more robust ways of securing information within the cards; key to this is the use of processor-based smart card, Khubchandani said.

“A processor card is like [having] an operating system inside the smart card. It has a crypto memory engine inside the card, which compresses the data and encrypts them. That way the information stored on the card is secure because it is in an encrypted format,” Khubchandani explained.

Smart cards will also play a major role in federated identity. For such an initiative, smart card vendors are looking at combining biometrics technology within their smart card deployments. For instance, the directive by most federal governments to substitute existing passports with one that is digital in format will see these passports having an embedded RF (radio frequency) antenna within the document. By comparing a fingerprint scan with data stored in the antenna — and making sure they match — will help governments verify a user’s identity.

“There is a new regulation now that all passports should have digital passports. They [airport authorities] are looking at implementing biometric passports,” said Khubchandani.

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