A smart card is a device that includes an embedded integrated circuit that can be either a secure microcontroller or equivalent intelligence with internal memory or a memory chip alone. The card connects to a reader with direct physical contact or with a remote contactless radio frequency interface. With an embedded microcontroller, smart cards have the unique ability to store large amounts of data, carry out their own on-card functions (e.g., encryption and mutual authentication) and interact intelligently with a smart card reader.
A contactless smart card includes an embedded smart card secure microcontroller or equivalent intelligence, internal memory and a small antenna and communicates with a reader through a contactless radio frequency (RF) interface. Contactless smart card technology is used in applications that need to protect personal information and/or deliver fast, secure transactions, such as transit fee payment cards, school and college identification cards, transport cards, hostel card etc.
Smart card technology offers a number of features that can be used to provide or enhance privacy protection in systems. The following is a brief description of some of these features and how they can be used to protect privacy.
Authentication Smart card technology provides mechanisms for authenticating others who want to gain access to the card or device. These mechanisms can be used to authenticate users, devices, or applications wishing to use the data on the card’s or device’s chip. These features can be utilized by a system to protect privacy by, for example, ensuring that a Aepei application has been authenticated as having the appropriate access rights before accessing financial data or functions on a card.
Secure data storage Smart card technology provides a means of securely storing data on the card or device. This data can only be accessed through the smart card operating system by those with proper access rights.
Encryption Smart card technology can provide a robust set of encryption capabilities including key generation, secure key storage, hashing, and digital signing. These capabilities can be used by a system to protect privacy in a number of ways
Smart cards are widely acknowledged as one of the most secure and reliable forms of an electronic identification (ID) token. A smart card includes an embedded integrated circuit chip that can be either a microcontroller chip with internal memory or a secured memory chip alone. The card communicates with a reader either through direct physical contact or with a remote contactless electromagnetic field that energizes the chip and transfers data between the card and the reader. With an embedded microcontroller, smart cards have the unique ability to store large amounts of data, carry out their own on-card functions (e.g., data storage and management, encryption, decryption, and digital signature calculations) and interact intelligently with a smart card reader.
A smart card ID can combine several ID technologies, including the embedded chip, visual security markings, magnetic stripe, barcode and/or an optical stripe. By combining these various technologies into a smart card ID token, the resulting ID can support both future and legacy physical and logical access applications. They can also support other applications that have traditionally required separate ID processes and tokens.
Biometrics are used in many new identity management systems to improve the accuracy of identifying individuals. Smart cards provide a highly effective mechanism to protect the privacy of an individual that has a requirement to use a biometric identity system.
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