Why should government departments implement smart ID cards?

Whether a government-run educational facility, a local government swimming pool or a legislative office, all levels of our authoritative bodies could make good use of smartcard technology. It can create a solution to access problems, as well as being a risk-averse identification method for secure facilities, or simply be an alternative record-keeping resource.

But should all departments implement this technology? It can be quite the process, and you may need to purchase an ID card printer. But on a wider level, the Department of Finance’s National Smartcard Framework (NSF) outlines how government agencies can install and operate a smartcard system, and exactly why it should be considered.

It is specified and tailored security

When you implement smartcard technology, you make use of security solutions that will only respond to a specific terminal. Where a key can be cut or a lock manipulated, smartcards offer a heightened level of security. As the NSF handbook points out, “for all practical purposes, it is not possible to copy or counterfeit a smartcard”.

This also provides a greater level of security than a magnetic swipe card, which can still be skimmed for information. Any department or organisation that wishes to have a greater level of safety may wish to print ID cards that use smartcard technology.

It can protect your information

As mentioned above, smartcards can store information as well as act in simpler identification roles. In contactless smart cards, there is a chip which stores the information and can transmit it to an authorised terminal or receptor.

As the Smart Card Alliance notes, “with an embedded microcontroller, smart cards have the unique ability to store large amounts of data, carry out their own on-card functions and interact intelligently with a smart card reader”.

So in addition to secure identification, the use of personalised ID card printing in a smartcard context can allow employees to transfer information to terminals and have specific access applied to a product. It’s a level of security that improves efficiency and safety on many levels.

Of course, no product is without a need for improvement. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has previously noted that the strict compliance with regulations around security could be a constraint for some businesses. However, the document is quick to acknowledge the security benefits that can also be inferred.

Any department that has not yet made use of smartcard technology may wish to get in touch and inquire about ID card printing.