Alliance Issues Best Practices for RF Technology


The Smart Card Alliance Identity Council has released “Best Practices for the Use of RF-Enabled Technology in Identity Management,” guidance regarding best practices for organizations implementing radio frequency (RF) technology in identity management systems. The publication provides recommendations for issuers of ID credentials using RF technology to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and validity of identity information and protect the credential holder’s privacy. Along with an accompanying FAQ, it also addresses common misunderstandings about the use of RF technology to transmit identity information, which have led to questions about the security and privacy of RF-enabled ID credentials.

According to the Smart Card Alliance, the documents provide rules for good behavior when using RF-enabled technology in identity management, and clearly delineate the differences between radio frequency identification (RFID) and contactless smart cards that use RF in identity applications.

Key elements of the publication calls on credential issuers to implement security techniques to protect identity information throughout the application, ensure protection of all user and credential information stored in central identity system databases, and notify the user as to the nature and purpose of the personally identifiable information (PII) collected – its usage and length of retention. According to the Alliance, RF-enabled smart cards are able to meet all the guidelines in the publication.

Links to a PDF of the publication and the FAQ can be found at the Smart Card Alliance Web site.

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