The rapid advance of chip-based card technology (smart cards) and biometrics has spawned ambitious plans by corporations and government to link individuals more intimately to the “wired” world. At the juncture between what technology can do and how people will use it are a myriad of legal, regulatory and policy issues. The same technologies which make it easier and safer to function in cyberspace, potentially pose threats to: How consumer rights are protected How industries are structured How commerce is conducted How government oversees fairness for its citizens and competition among companies CardTech/SecurTech (CTST) ’98, which will attract nearly 10,000 attendees from more than 70 nations, will provide an intensive forum on these and other issues during the week of April 27-30, 1998. Located at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, CTST will play host to many of the world’s leading authorities on electronic commerce, business law, privacy, and government regulation. These experts will discuss pressing issues currently weaving their way through the legislative and regulatory processes, as well as through the courts of law and public opinion. Some of the topics to be explored include: The liability and insurance issues associated with certificate authorities that will attest to the authenticity of people in their financial, legal and personal dealings over the net. The effect on law enforcement and taxing authorities as they cope with new environments in their efforts to suppress money laundering, fight organized crime and collect taxes. The ability of privacy regulation and compliance to keep pace with the ever increasing complexities of modern information networks. “One of the fascinating aspects of debates that arise when discussing personal technologies such as smart cards, cryptography, and biometrics is that the same tools that can protect people’s privacy and assets, can also be seen as intruding on their personal lives,” said Ben Miller, CTST founder and conference chair. “Discussion between the people building the systems and the people charged with safeguarding the public trust is the only way to ensure a future that is both beneficial and acceptable to everyone.”
With the rapid adoption of card and security technology in both domestic and international markets, concerns have been justifiably raised regarding user privacy and authentication. Recent cases of “identity” theft highlight the risks of using old fashioned paper documents, passwords and written signatures. Not only are these methods ill-suited to emerging electronic systems, they are easily foiled by criminals. The creation of sophisticated systems for replacing written signatures with digital ones is one of the most pressing requirements for electronic commerce and information sharing. Banks, governments, and information providers recognize that an all new infrastructure must be built to facilitate life in a “wired” world. While the technological challenges are daunting, the larger hurdles lie in structuring the systems to accommodate legal requirements and protect citizens.
In addition, cultural changes are occurring as use of the Internet penetrates deeper into the population. Since its early days, the Internet has been a place where many people assume a level of anonymity, at least in some of their electronic dealings. A higher level of security and trust can be provided by smart cards, digital signatures and biometrics, yet users may still feel uneasy about their identity being known. Recent studies have shown that, for the majority of people, security of electronic transactions is a prerequisite to their becoming regular “net” users.
For more information on CTST seminars and conference programs, please contact Liz Wenchel at (301) 654-0551.
About CardTech/SecurTech CardTech/SecurTech (CTST), founded in 1991, is the world’s most prestigious conference and exhibition covering advanced smart card and security technology. Recently purchased by Faulkner & Gray, Inc., publisher of Card Technology and Smart Card Alert, CTST focuses on applications of card and related technology solutions for banking, the Internet, telecommunications, mass transit, security, retail, loyalty, government, and health care. Information about the organization, sponsors, program topics, and exhibition can be found via the Web at .Details