What is important about smart cards is that they are everyday objects
that people can carry in their wallets, purses or pockets, and that
they have the capacity to retain and protect information stored in
There are already other smart objects in use. Smart keys are being used
for pay-TV subscriptions. The smartness of smart cards comes from the
integrated circuit embedded in the plastic card. The same electronic
function could be performed by similar circuits embedded in other
everyday objects, key rings, watches, glasses, rings, or earrings.
The way that people give a password with a PIN is not yet ideal.
Biometric techniques will soon mean that a person can be reliably
identified by his hand, finger print, the color of his eyes or the
sound of his voice.
Soon it will be possible to hide electronic information in smart cards
and give authorization for this information to be used with a spoken
word or the touch of a hand.
The computer revolution has generated many advantages, but also
introduced much form filling, errors and impersonal service. Smart
cards along with other technologies such as biometrics, radio
telephones and home computing, will give us the advantages without the
Smart cards are a relatively new technology that already effects the
everyday lives of millions of people. All the signs are that this is
just the beginning of something much larger that will influence the way
that we shop, see the doctor, use the telephone and enjoy leisure.
Modern society needs an enormous amount of information. Computers give
us the means to process this information. Smart cards give us a way of
humanizing the way we handle this information. Smart cards give every
individual the possibility to control how his personal information is
Society will have to create laws which limit the uses of smart card technology to those which benefit the individual, and increase the quality of life.