smart card

views updated May 23 2018

smart card A plastic card similar to a credit card but having memory and a microprocessor (or specialized logic) embedded in it.

Smart cards are defined by ISO 7816 Parts 1–6 and comprise a plastic card of size 85.6 #M 53.98mm with a standard pattern of electrical contacts on the surface. It may also incorporate a magnetic stripe. A smart card can carry large amounts of personal and other information, which can be updated by inserting in a suitable reader. Data encryption is routinely incorporated for security. Many credit cards are now incorporating smart card technology. However because of their ability to store personal financial data, health records, benefit entitlements, and criminal records there is considerable controversy surrounding their introduction in everyday affairs. Concerns about security add to the problem. The use of smart cards as personal ID cards is similarly a matter of political concern.