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Issue Date: February 2002 (es)

Smartcard Briefs

1 February 2002

Smart Card Society 2002 Conferences
March 11,12, Cape Town
June 3, 4, Gauteng
August 12,13, Pretoria
November 11,12, Gauteng
Smart IDs in Hong Kong and Macau
Macau and Hong Kong have announced steps toward issuing mandatory ID cards carrying chips. Both cities want to better control their borders with China as well as encourage citizens to access government services via the Internet using digital credentials stored on the smartcards. Macau last month awarded a US$13m contract to Siemens to deliver 540 000 chip-based ID cards. Each card will carry a digital version of the holder's fingerprint for identification. The smartcards will carry 32 KB chips from Infineon Technologies, and the smartcards will be produced by G&D; and use the Java Card platform. Hong Kong, meanwhile, awarded NEC a US$12 million contract to build a computer system and digitise data for Hong Kong's smartcard IDs, which are to be introduced in 2003 to the city's population of 6,8 million.
Prism, we are smartly proud of you
Orders for Prism Holdings' South African developed, high-memory capacity, secure SIM cards have topped R100 million over the past six months. This follows the signing of an additional order in excess of R60 million this week for Prism aSIMetrix 64K cards by Smart Communications, the largest GSM operator in the Philippines. The cards will be delivered to Smart Communications over the next six months.
Smart Communications has already taken delivery of well over 1 million of Prism's aSIMetrix SIMs, most of which are the 64K version. Earlier delivery of the SIMs - the small smartcards that fit inside mobile phones connected to GSM networks - included cards with 32K memory. Most SIM cards in use in SA today have 16K memory.
Steven Sidley, Prism's Executive Director - Group Marketing, says the latest order from Smart Communications is a clear indication of growing global demand for high-end, 64K SIMs. "A larger memory allows GSM operators to load more applications onto the SIM, allowing them to offer their customers a greater selection of value-added services."
Smartcards for security - who controls the security?
"By 2005 smartcards will be in universal circulation for multiple applications including security." - Datamonitor
Smartcards, biometrics and PKI can provide an organisation with the tools they require to quickly and securely access physical and logical resources, conduct transactions, and provide confidence in all internal and external communications.
These disparate technologies are not easily integrated. An organisation employing 5000 people is likely to require 25-30 personnel changes per day, including; staff leaving, staff recruited, changing departments or roles etc. Add the necessity of managing the required security devices, and then having to handle resetting, revoking and changing services for every employee, and it is quickly recognised that a sophisticated management system is needed.
Intercede's edefice security management software is the most flexible and powerful smartcard/token management solution available. Edefice is a standards-compliant, web-based, fully customisable management solution that extends the power and flexibility of smartcards, tokens, biometrics and PKI technology. With its innovative workflow driven architecture, secure authentication technology, and PKI independence, edefice sets the standard by which other security management platforms can be measured.
World's first smartcard election
The elections that took place on 19 and 26 October 2001 in Mauritania, were the world's first national elections based on biometric identification. The Mauritanian Government has hailed the election a success. During the elections, one million citizens were issued with a SAGEM biometric identity card, which incorporated a fingerprint sample. SAGEM is also involved in the launch of a national identity card in the country.
PCs and smartcards
Humetrix has announced that its smartcard-based Internet technology, Netissimo, is now included on Compaq's Presario 5000 and 8000 Series PCs, marking the technology's first consumer product offering. The system, aimed at providing fast and secure Internet connectivity via smartcards, will be available on the Compaq machines from the Compaq website from 9 January, and through major retailers by the end of the first quarter 2002.
US Department of Justice ruling could mean more smartcard launches
The long-awaited ruling in the US Department of Justice's antitrust case against Visa International, Visa USA and MasterCard International will change the landscape of the US credit card market. But could it mean more US issuers will launch smartcard programs? While the ruling may eventually help spur smartcard issuance, analyst Avivah Litan of the consulting firm GartnerGroup doubts it will have much immediate effect. "In the long term, this will foster competition and make smartcards more price-competitive," she says.
What the ruling means
* Visa and MasterCard member banks are free to issue American Express and Discover Credit cards.

* Visa and MasterCard member banks may potentially issue multi-application smartcards with American Express or Discover Credit features and debit functionality.

* Visa and MasterCard can maintain their 'dual governance' policies, which allow a bank to sit on the board of one association while issuing the rival brand.
Free readers help smartcard rollout
Target, the Minneapolis-based retailer, started issuing Visa-branded smartcards to its most loyal customers in September. The company plans to have 40 000 terminals with smartcard readers in stores by mid-2002. Meanwhile, cardholders can request a free reader to hook up to a personal computer for making online purchases.
Smartcard implants?
Applied Digital in the United States has proposed that its implantable microchip technology, VeriChip, which is currently being used for tracking animals, could be used in the fight against terrorism by being injected into immigrants entering the US. The idea was cited by Applied Digital CEO Richard Sullivan who commented that the embedding of chips in humans was a natural consequence of man's increasing convergence with technology. However, Sullivan's comments sparked outrage among civil liberty groups with Randall Marshall of the American Civil Liberties Union claiming the idea was 'unconstitutional' and a violation of 'bodily integrity'.
Oz doctors get smart PKI
Australia's national health insurance agency has launched a countrywide program allowing health professionals to transmit data via the Internet. A unit of the Health Insurance Commission has issued digital certificates to more than 1000 doctors, hospital administrators and pharmacists. Up to 60 000 health professionals ultimately could participate in the program. Giesecke & Devrient has won a contract to supply smartcards for the program, which is one of the first nationwide implementations of PKI.
Smart tags
Smart labelling is the latest RFID technology, combining the advantages of bar code, electronic article surveillance (EAS) and traditional RFID solutions. Designed to serve mass markets that would consume millions of labels needed per year, Philips Semiconductors' I•Code-Net integrated circuits (ICs) represent state-of-the-art smart label technology, offering a low-cost, re-programmable and disposable solution for source tagging, automatic data capture, theft protection and data storage on a product or its packaging. I•Code-Net smart labels allow almost any item to be tagged for efficient handling. I•Code-Net's highly automated item scanning process does not require line-of-sight and can scan multiple labels at the same time. I•Code-Net ICs can also store a digital signature, enabling proof of authenticity and preventing goods from being counterfeited. More information on I•Code-Net is available at the Philips website:
Iris recognition and smartcards
Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport has installed a new border control system based on iris recognition and personalised smartcards. Travellers' iris scans are stored on their smartcards, personalised by Bell ID's ANDiS Card and Application Management System, which also manages the cryptographic keys used to secure the process. The new iris scan border control system forms part of Schiphol's Privium service programme for frequent travellers. Besides border passage, the Privium card also comprises parking and check-in facilities. Because iris recognition is considered the most reliable form of biometric recognition, Schiphol will also apply the technology to passes issued to staff working in all protected airport areas and will equip all passages to these areas with iris recognition technology from mid-2002.
For details contact Graham Bendell of The Smart Card Society of Southern Africa on tel: 011 728 4405, fax: 011 728 3711 or e-mail:

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