RIM wants your BlackBerry to be your access badge

Research In Motion (RIM) announced on its Inside Blackberry for Business Blog that security company HID Global was coming out with Secure Identity Services for BlackBerry Enterprise. This is a Web-based platform that manages credentials for plastic cards and tokens, but also for Near Field Communications (NFC)-enabled BlackBerry smartphones.

It’s no big surprise that RIM is the first to attempt this. They had firsts in NFC-based credit card payments, after all. But the real question is: Will it catch on?

I’m going to say, “yes in some places but probably not in others.” In their rush to make it possible for you to gain access to a building or room just by waving your phone, they forgot the one other major function of a security badge in the more high-security environments. It has a picture of you on it so the human beings in the location can be sure you are you. If the electronically controled access were moved to our BlackBerry phones, those of us in the more sensitive locales would still need a badge.

But for the lower-clearance work environments where the extent of physical security is swiping or waving a card, then this would mean one fewer thing to carry.

About the Author

Greg Crowe is a former GCN staff writer who covered mobile technology.

Reader Comments

Fri, Sep 14, 2012 accessallareas

Greg, you are correct it will be useful in some locations and about the need for an authorised photo for visible checks. But just like the signature on a bank card, when was the last time you saw a photo pass checked? I had an "official pass" with a picture of a US president in place of mine. It was amazing that it was only noticed once in two days of clearly displaying it. A company phone at least can provide other credentials if required e.g. logical access to a PC.

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