Sunday, November 26, 2006

Smart cards: maybe a major advance with several issues


Lately the news media has reported some discussions on smart cards, on the idea that you can use them to recycle passwords on your many personal, banking, retail, or workplace websites as a security measure. Particularly interesting is the idea that firmware applications in java byte code could be run.

I mention this because it would also sound like smart cards could be designed to work as age verification schemes in conjunction with COPA. A lot of development work by various vendors would be necessary to make this work, but it could be done or at least planned for. One part of the concept would be that webmasters would label their sites with content rating labels, and the smart cards could enable browsers to talk to these. It is, at this point, a long way to go, but I will probably look further into this.

Here are some major references on smart cards.

Securing Java: How secure are Smart Cards?

IBM Smart Card Security Kit overview

Smart card faq's

My blog on COPA and content labeling is here.

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