In this video, MSNBC does a great job detaining some of the problems with Smart Cards.
(VIDEO COMING SOON)
It’s likely that you have seen a smart card, either using a smart card yourself or via watching someone else use one.
Basically the idea is that your information is held on a card which is more convenient to use (because you can simply wave it in front of a card reader), and harder to duplicate (because it has some very involved circuitry inside of it), as compared with magnetic stripe cards which are very easy to create duplicates from.
Watch the video though to see the risks associated with smart card technology.
Wikipedia defines smart cards the following way:
A smart card, chip card, or integrated circuit(s) card (ICC), is defined as any pocket-sized card with embedded integrated circuits which can process information. This implies that it can receive input which is processed – by way of the ICC applications – and delivered as an output. There are two broad categories of ICCs. Memory cards contain only non-volatile memory storage components, and perhaps some specific security logic. Microprocessor cards contain volatile memory and microprocessor components. The card is made of plastic, generally PVC, but sometimes ABS. The card may embed a hologram to avoid counterfeiting.
The jury is still out on this one for me.
Is it more secure to have a card that is harder to duplicate but is easier to get the information from, or is it better to have a traditional magnetic stripe card which is very easy to duplicate, but doesn’t contain any way of wirelessly transmitting your information?
Any thoughts welcomed.