Industry group honors DOD smart card

The Defense Department's Common Access Card was recognized last month as the most outstanding application of smart-card technology.

The Defense Department's Common Access Card was recognized last month as the most outstanding application of smart-card technology.

The Smart Card Alliance awarded the Outstanding Smart Card Achievement award for an end user to the Defense Manpower Data Center, which oversees the CAC program. The award was made Oct. 20 at the industry group's annual conference in San Francisco.

The CAC program began in 1999 and has become by far the government's largest smart-card implementation. More than 5 million of the cards have been issued and more than 3 million currently are in circulation. It is being used as a standard identification card and its embedded chip also can be used for logical access to IT systems and for other types of authentication.

The alliance credited the program not only with laying the foundation for smart-card use within government but also with giving a boost to the industry as a whole.

Program director Mary Dixon characterized the smart-card initiative as a team effort, 'within the Defense Department and with sister agencies and many of the department's commercial partners.'

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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