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Big yawn over smart cards

A reader says biometrics is a much more secure and inexpensive technology than smart cards.


Big yawn over smart cards

In response to the Aug. 21 Reuters report "Smart cards starting to take off in U.S.":

It blows my mind how businesses can get so excited about smart cards. Smart cards are just as expensive, if not more expensive, than passwords. Plus, smart cards do not add a greater barrier of consumer security--they lower that barrier.

Take a look: First you have to implement hardware to read your smart cards and put that on the network; look at extra troubles if your company has laptops. Then if someone loses their smart card, you have to cancel out the original smart card, plus get the employee a new smart card (high IT and hardware costs).

Stolen smart cards are about as secure as an open door. If you add a password as part of the access to the smart card, then you are just creating two problems instead of one (high IT costs to renew passwords and smart cards). What a huge headache!

So is there a solution? Yes: biometrics. Your only up-front cost is implementation. No more passwords, no lost or stolen cards. You are you; by just being you, you gain access. Fingerprint-recognition systems are inexpensive, network capable, and can work effectively with online and mobile access.

To give an analogy, skip the pagers and go straight to the cell phones.

Jason Jepson
Portland, Ore.