Secure smart card can handle many e-gov apps

SchlumbergerSema, a division of the multinational Schlumberger Ltd., launched the ICitizen smart card for data and access security at the CardTech/SecurTech trade show in New Orleans in April.

'There is no ICitizen specification,' said Pearl Chu, vice president of marketing for Schlumberger's card division. 'It depends on the requirements of each application.'

For example, the card could incorporate a large memory, a Java engine, cryptographic capability, or access controls ranging from a personal identification number to biometric authentication.

The card's anticounterfeiting features, copied from bank note technology, include microprinting, special inks and interwoven lines to foil electronic copiers.

Does windows, too

Chu said the card could handle apps for voter identification, driver's licenses, and health and insurance records. A large-memory card with the ability to segregate files could serve multiple applications.

The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators has endorsed the use by states of a uniform card for secure driver's licenses. And the Defense Department plans to issue 4 million Common Access Cards in the government's largest smart card program.

But Chu said U.S. orders have not been rolling in. Schlumberger is 'having lots of conversations with governments outside the United States,' she said. 'I think what the Defense Department is doing is going to develop, but at what speed remains to be seen.'

About the Author

William Jackson is freelance writer and the author of the CyberEye blog.

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