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Political ignorance

Week 17, 2012

Unfortunately, politicians have to make decisions on so various subjects one cannot expect them to have a deep and thorough understanding on all of them.

A couple recent examples illustrate how difficult it is for our industry to explain its subjects and issues to government and legislative decision-makers. In the US, the Congress recently conducted a subcommittee hearing of Randy Vanderhoof, Smart Card Alliance Executive Director, on how mobile contactless payments are poised to transform the financial services industry. Other participants at the hearing, commented Congressmen were far from really understanding all the society issues behind our simple technology points.

In France, home of the smart card industry, the Parliament has finally decided to launch an electronic ID project, but at the same time, removed the digital signature chip from the plans. This way French ID cards will bring citizens way less capabilities than the ID cards from Estonia, which include multiple functions and services, or India, where a citizen’s ID can be automatically verified.

Making the right technology decisions in a project is not always sufficient. For instance, the new German eID card has been rolled out with multiple features, but the promised eID services are yet to be deployed.

Thierry Spanjaard

Chief Editor

Smart Insights