The Auto-ID Trajectory - Chapter Seven: Ten Cases in the Selection and Application of Auto-ID


7.    Ten Cases in the Selection and Application of Auto-ID


The overall purpose of this chapter is to present the auto-ID selection environment by exploring ten embedded case studies. The cases (as defined in section 3.2) will act to illustrate the pervasiveness of each auto-ID technology within vertical sectors which are synonymous with the technology’s take up. The focus will now shift from the technology provider as the central actor to innovation (as was highlighted in ch. 6) to the service provider stakeholder who adopts a particular technology on behalf of its members and end users. It will be shown that new commercial applications do act to drive incremental innovations which shape a technology’s long-term trajectory. The four levels of analysis that will be conducted can be seen in exhibit 7.1 below, with three examples to help the reader understand the format of the forthcoming micro-inquiry. This chapter dedicates equal space to each case and for the first time will show that coexistence between auto-ID technologies is not only possible but happening presently, and very likely to continue into the future (Michael 2003, pp. 135-152).

Exhibit 7.1  Levels of Investigation in the Embedded Case Studies



7.1.   Bar code Product Innovation

Over the years bar codes have been applied to many different applications.[1] The biggest adopter of bar code technology is the retail industry. It can be credited as being the first sector to establish symbologies for product marking.[2] Another application of bar code is in manufacturing where it has acted to increase productivity levels significantly. Specific part types can now be identified automatically. The label is used in the sorting and tracking of parts until the finished product is completed and despatched, using various checkpoints throughout assembly.[3] This work-in-process innovation also acts as an order entry system and quality control measure. In shipping, delivery errors have been reduced because of bar code labels on individual packaging items, resulting in goods getting to their correct destinations on time. Such practices are saving large companies millions of dollars annually. Bar code systems can also transmit order information and other data using electronic data interchange (EDI).[4] This allows for international operations worldwide to be linked together. Executives can now receive timely and accurate sales and inventory data and have an ability to exercise a just-in-time (JIT) strategy in their operations (Johnston & Lee 1997). Highly automated systems have reduced labour costs and increased productivity. Quick response (QR) and direct store delivery (DSD) have lead to better customer relations that have helped companies achieve a competitive edge. Expensive goods are also asset-tagged with bar codes to reduce the incidence of theft, shoplifting or illegal imitation.

The versatile nature of bar code to be imprinted on just about any type of surface meant that its application on plastic cards or paper forms was inevitable. Acting as an automatic identifier for low-risk applications bar code is renowned for being an effective solution.[5] It is now commonplace to find libraries issuing cards with bar codes to borrowers, as are school administrations to their students and staff. In fact, a student’s absenteeism or individual class attendance can also be monitored. In the workplace, attendance hours can be logged using bar code to indicate an employee’s hours of work. Bar code access control cards can grant privileges to employees who are authorised to use work facilities. Tracking people is also possible using wearable tags with the bar code imprinted on the tag. Bar codes can also be used for crowd control, particularly for highly   publicised   events   where   large   numbers   of   people   are   expected.   Other applications include bar coding every publication using the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), direct mailing systems that insert bar codes on forms or brochures to keep track of information gathered in order to perform target marketing. Invoices sent out can also be bar coded for tracking goods[6] sent and used in the returns or damaged items process.[7] In the health industry hospital patients can be identified by bar codes that are securely attached to them via a bracelet tag. Laboratory samples are also labelled with bar codes for tracking purposes. In agriculture bar codes are used in the process of cattle breeding as well (see exhibit 7.2 on the previous page).

Exhibit 7.2 Bar Code Application


7.1.1.      Case 1: Retail

The greatest impact that bar codes have made in the retail sector has been in the production process and distribution of goods. Two examples of this can be found in Bobson, a Japanese-based manufacturer of casual apparel and R. M. Palmer, a US-based leading confectionary manufacturer. Both manufacturers have been able to achieve quick response (QR)[8] because of the bar code.

Stage one is exemplified by the use of U.P.C., EDI for purchase orders and invoices and, lastly, the UCC/EAN-128 shipping label standard for container marking (McInerney 1998, p. 33).

Bobson has the capacity to cater for up to 60000 apparel items on a daily basis and has over 1300 customers. Using the Interleaved 2 of 5 symbology, products are organised into bar coded collapsible totes that have a unique identification. Placed on an automated conveyer belt bar codes are scanned updating Bobson’s inventory file. Orders are then sorted by destination automatically using a cross-belt sorter. The automated system eliminates sales losses and allows Bobson “ compete effectively against lower cost apparel from overseas” (Automatic I.D. 1998d, p. 31). Suppliers of goods, like R. M. Palmer, have also had to meet customer compliance demands. The candy producer created its own automated labelling system: “[it] has moved from stencilling cartons to ordering preprinted labels to hand-applying pressure-sensitive labels printed on site” (Automatic I.D. 1998a, p. 30). Today Palmer has the capability to produce a different label for each of its customers utilising Code 128 bar codes. It additionally produces Interleaved 2 of 5 bar codes for internal purposes and UPC for preprinted labels. Similar to Bobson, Palmer places cartons on conveyors that must pass through bar code laser scanners. The equipment scans the bar code labels after they are applied, ensuring quality control and that a customer order was satisfied receiving the correct Code 128 bar code (Automatic I.D. 1998a, pp. 31f).       RF/ID Complementary or Replacement Technology?

Just like the Japanese-based manufacturer Bobson discussed above, an auto-ID system is also in place at Calvin Klein’s Italian European Jeans warehouse. This particular warehouse is responsible for the distribution of Calvin Klein sportswear for all its outlets outside North America. It is estimated that the 12000 square metre storage area handles more than 10 million items per year. As Beale (1998, p. 1) reported:

...Calvin Klein receives finished goods (jeans, shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and tennis shirts) from its subcontractors and readies them for shipment to retailers. Each day, between 30000 and 40000 individual garments (roughly 2000 to 2500 pallets) are transported through the facility.

There is one noticeable difference between the Bobson warehouse and that of Calvin Klein. The latter heavily relies on radio-frequency data communication (RFDC) technology, not only bar code.[9] Like Calvin Klein, the Alto Group in Australia, Panasonic Logistics in England and Toyota in the U.S. have incorporated bar codes and RF/DC technology into their operations. In the case of the Alto Group which holds an inventory of 100000 line items valued at 5.5 million dollars with 4000 different lines of parts, warehouse personnel also use Janus 2020 handheld terminals to receive data and instructions using wireless means via the management system called STOCK*MAN. Incoming inventory is bar code labelled and STOCK*MAN provides putaway instructions by an RF transmission. Order processing is also simplified when an item is picked and scanned the inventory is updated in real-time. Alto Parts claims it has increased its parts putaway by 300 per cent and its parts delivery rate by 150 per cent. Additionally 50 per cent less stock is held in the warehouse which has freed up finances. In the case of the Panasonic Logistics, the distribution arm of Panasonic an automatic data capture (ADC) facility has been built at the Northampton centre. With 80000 different product lines and 23000 pallet locations the plant is significantly bigger than the Alto Parts of Australia but works on the same principles. It uses about 50 radio terminals for picking, almost one for each of its employees. The ADC system is so efficient that the work force at the centre is envisaged to be reduced by 25 per cent in 1999.

The Toyota case differs significantly from the former cases. Instead of using bar code, the automotive manufacturer chose a fully-fledged RF/ID system instead. Whereas the previous three cases integrated bar codes and RF/ID into one system, Toyota has opted to use RF/ID in place of bar code. The manufacturer is probably using the most advanced methods in its plant to implement JIT and EDI (J. Cohen 1994, ch. 14). The facility produces more than 550000 engines and 475000 vehicles annually. The old system could not ensure that the right trailers went to the right dock at the right time. The new system using TIRIS passive RF/ID tags from Texas Instruments has eliminated delays and mistakes that total into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Each of the 200 trailers is tagged permanently. Prior to the truck’s arrival at the gate, the management system receives information about the trailer’s contents and arrival times via EDI. A gate antenna is used to read the tag as it arrives and departs checking it against the appropriate database that contains the trailer number, gate number, date and time of arrival.[10]

While the mass introduction of RF/ID tags or transponders is still a number of years away, primarily due to cost, some companies have already migrated part or all of their operations over to take advantage of RF/ID functionality.[11] The launch of TROLLEYPONDER RFID by Trolley Scan, a South African-based company, caused much debate over the future of bar codes in the late 1990s. It is not surprising that the managing director and inventor, Mike Marsh has targeted the RF/ID technology as a replacement for the bar code marking of products. Marsh is convinced that this is the way of the future and is currently forming agreements with commercial partners globally. While some observers believe that the technology is only useful for niche markets, Trolleyponder is heavily targeting the retail market, particularly supermarket chains and their suppliers. The technology has the potential to be used for everything from manufacturing, warehousing and logistics with the added benefits of Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) and putaway.[12] Trolley Scan has also initiated a Development Users Group, an informal collection of about 60 companies and organisations that would like to contribute or be informed of Trolleyponder developments.[13] It is envisaged that RF/ID may be ultimately used in retail for customer self-service check-out[14] such as in the system developed by University of New South Wales called BRANDERS Point of Sale.


7.1.2.      Case 2: Education

The versatility of bar code has seen the device proliferate in the education sector. Primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions are using the bar code on a plastic card, replacing traditional cardboard cards. The card systems are commonly known as campus cards.[16] In Australia, Knox Grammar School, Beverly Hills Girls’ High School and the University of Wollongong are just three institutions that have introduced bar code cards.[17] In 1996, Knox Grammar issued 1400 students and staff with Knox Cards. Each Knox card is “...complete with barcode, date of birth, photo and magnetic strip” (Knox Grammar 1996, p. 43). The Knox Card was originally introduced for the library so that each title catalogued could be tracked. It could also serve the purpose of giving each student a unique identifier and automatically monitoring overdue books, library fines or limits of books being borrowed. The card showed the way for Knox to become a micro-cashless society. Students and staff could use the card for photocopying in the library and for other future purchases such as textbooks and stationery or school uniforms (Knox Grammar 1996, p. 43). While Knox Grammar students use the bar code card primarily as a borrowing device in the library, Beverly Hills Girls’ High School use it to record attendance, “[i]nstead of teachers marking rolls, students swipe a barcoded card through a machine” (Raethel 1997, p. 1). Teachers can then check to see whether all pupils are present or not via a printout. The 20000 dollar system has increased attendance from 85 per to 95 per cent in only one year and reduced both absenteeism and truancy.[18] At the University of Wollongong, student identification cards were introduced in 1994. The bar codes on the student ID are primarily used for borrowing purposes in the library. The unique bar code ID number also grants students access to the University’s Student Online Kiosk (SOLs) where individuals can enrol in subjects, download their assessment results and receive important messages, among other things.[19]        Smart Card or Hybrid Card

Bar code cards have been the most popular cost-effective identification solution for educational institutions. Magnetic-stripes have been complimentary to the plastic cards, sometimes serving little or no purpose at all. In those cases where the magnetic-stripe is utilised however, it is likely related to stored value (i.e. money) or some other application requiring a higher level of security than the bar code can offer. Due to their size, colleges and universities have often looked to adopt other auto-ID solutions such as smart cards[20] and biometric devices. At tertiary institutions more money is transacted per student for higher education fees, text books, stationary, photocopying, printing and the purchase of food. Coupled with the monetary aspect is that of student identification for examinations, attendance to classes, resource borrowing allowances and access to computer rooms. The cards could also be used to store student results etc. Table 7.1 shows how smart cards have been introduced into institutions since 1983.

Table 7.1      Auto-ID Campus Card Innovations

Educational Institution | Year, Technology, Supplier, Amount | Purpose

University of Paris VII (France) | 1983 | Smart cards | Bull CP8

Student academic information, annual progress, course selection, qualifications. Also other campus service functions.                             

University of Science & Technology of Lille (France) | 1985 | Smart cards | Sligos/TRT-Philips, 5000

Administrative and academic information. Identification and access into the library. Also used to obtain health care from SMENO.

University of Rome (Italy) | 1987 | Smart cards, 5000

Electronic student and staff record for administration and management. Used to register students sitting for examinations. Staff cards store examination results.

Loyalty College (U.S.) | 1990 | Smart cards

Transactions for book and convenience stores, vending machines and post office.

University of Barcelona (Spain) | 1994 | Smart cards, 30000

Electronic purse which can be used for public transport, photocopying and campus shopping. Other services include: access control to campus and laboratories, attendance, sports facilities and library.

University of Michigan (U.S.) | 1995 | OCR, Bar code, magnetic-stripe & smart card, 40000

Electronic transactions with on and off campus merchants. For example, students can make transactions with the First of America Bank of Kalamazoo with the card.

Rene Cassin High School (France) | 1995 | Smart card | 1000

Stores name, account number, access profile and category of cardholder. Acts as an electronic purse for meals. Used for access to car park and photocopies.

Washington University (U.S.) | 1996, Two magnetic stripes, photo and smart card, 8000

Residence access control, library, event access, meal plan. Also acts as an on campus transaction card and stores student information.

University of Adelaide (Australia) | 1998 | Smart card, 30000

Facilitate identification, administration and library functions. Reloadable payment facilities for goods and services on campus and payphones.


Some of the campus schemes include hybrid cards while others rely only on the smart card technology. The University of Michigan smart card scheme, known as M-Card, is in the former category. Faced with making a significant investment in equipment in 1995 to provide a single card with multi-functionality, smart card was chosen over bar code and magnetic-stripe cards as the ultimate solution that would keep pace with future applications. In the short term the new smart card scheme will be integrated into the legacy systems but eventually everything on the card will be migrated to smart card. Smith and Cunningham (1997, pp. 228-229) describe this evolution.

The situation at the university was typical. They had several “legacy” or existing systems using different card technologies such as bar code and magnetic stripe. Their approach was to use existing systems when feasible, and to implement new services with smart cards. This was achieved by including OCR, bar code, and magnetic-stripe on the student identity card as well as the integrated chip. Over time, all services are likely to be migrated to the chip.

By 1999 there were more than 94000 active M-cards that could be used at 56 merchants, 340 cash points with 23 available reload devices.[21]

Cards developed in the 1980s were more likely to be used on-campus rather than off-campus. Today universities are establishing partnerships and alliances with banks, health insurance companies and telephone operators allowing students and staff to use their card in an open system. Leading the way in campus smart card innovation is a group at the Florida State University (FSU) which is developing a card that can act as more than just a prepaid card. The team located at the Card Application Technology Centre on campus at FSU, includes such sponsor companies as MCI, V-One, Debitek, PTI and Gemplus.[22] The scheme hopes to develop a multipurpose card that can handle money transfers, payment for stationary, text books, laundry, public transport, food and vending. In Australia, the incumbent telephone operator Telstra is funding a smart card scheme for the University of Adelaide, TAFE NSW (Lidcombe) and the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). The single card is being heralded as a replacement for the older student ID photo card, bar code library card and magnetic-stripe photocopy card (Creed 1999a). The Vice Chancellor of the University of Adelaide believes the scheme will reduce costs associated with the annual issue of cards and will benefit students by offering them loyalty discounts for phone calls and other services.[23]


7.2.   Magnetic-stripe Card Product Innovation

A cursory glance at the content of one’s wallet will reaffirm why “[f]inancial cards are by far the main application of magnetic stripe cards” (Jose & Oton 1994, p. 20). The finance sector, have been responsible for the FTC explosion in the form of debit and credit cards[24] which have paved the way towards an evolving cashless society.[25] The two types of cards differ in that debit cards require the cardholder to enter a personal identification number (PIN) at unsupervised terminals (known as automatic teller machines ATMs) whereas credit cards only require signature verification at supervised terminals (known as electronic funds transfer at point of sale EFTPOS). Financial transactions can even be carried out from the home using a PC (personal computer) or a touchtone telephone. For the present however, ATMs and EFT terminals can be viewed as the most popular complementary innovations to magnetic-stripe cards that have changed the face of banking.[26] The magnetic-stripe card was heralded as the technology that would see an end to the large bulging wallet containing copper coins and paper money (Johnstone 1999).[27] While it has successfully acted to reduce the amount of money people carry, the technology has attracted other countless product innovations. Unfortunately, the reality is that wallets and purses are still bulging but not with money, instead with numerous plastic cards.[28]  It is not out of the ordinary for a consumer to possess a separate ATM savings card, several credit cards, a frequent flyer card, a phone card, a discounted travel card, an employee identification card, a library photocopy card, a driver’s licence and several different loyalty retail cards (Cox 1997, pp. 28-31).

There are presently over one billion magnetic-stripe cards in circulation. This is testament to the recent increase in consumer acceptance of card technology and the marketing efforts of large corporations to sell the benefits of the card. In addressing the issue of the magnetic-stripe card taking the form of an electronic purse, Peter Harrop (1992, p. 227) describes the main applications other than the FTC. He makes the observation that:

[s]o far, payphones are the commonest application… Mass transit, particularly ‘stored-value tickets’ for trains and buses, is the second largest application… Prepayment cards are widely used for taxis, road tolls, parking, vending, payment in canteens and small shops, purchase of electricity and gas at the home meter,[29] in laundrettes and many other applications.


The Plastag Corporation, a card manufacturer approved by MasterCard and Cash Station have put together an imaginative range of product solutions. While producing the standard line of bank cards and blank cards, they are also the largest supplier of casino cards in the U.S. Other Plastag products include:

- pre-paid phone cards: phone cards are one of the most popular and effective promotional tools to build traffic in a business
- membership/I.D. cards: an important record-keeping tool for hospitals, nursing homes, other health providers, insurance companies and colleges/universities
- keylock cards: all over the world, hotels and resorts are changing the traditional door locks to electronic swipe key cards... they keep guests safe...[30]


 It is important to keep in mind that not all applications require the same level of security as the FTC- it all depends on the application. For instance, paper travel tickets featuring a magnetic-stripe are highly negotiable (i.e. they do not require a PIN or user ID and can be interchanged between persons). See exhibit 7.3 for a visual representation of magnetic-stripe applications.

Exhibit 7.3 Magnetic-Stripe Applications


7.2.1.      Case 3: Financial Services

Some may have thought it more valuable to relate financial services to smart cards but the reality is that widespread usage of smart cards by most banks is still some time away, especially in North America.

…less than 5% of smart cards worldwide are issued by banks… Mass rollout of smart cards is years away because of the cost to convert magnetic-strip credit, debit and ATM card systems to chip technology (Bank Sys. 1997, p. 21).

Presently, it is the plastic embossed card with the magnetic stripe and signature that has permeated most countries around the world. The card is used to perform transactions for various types of electronic funds transfer systems (EFTS): ATMs, CDs (cash dispensers), EFTPOS and remote banking. As one report noted these ‘profound changes’ linked for the first time the consumer directly to the computer.[31] Magnetic-stripe cards have been able to offer the dual function of paper-based and paper-less transactions. This is important because it has enabled the cardholder the ability not only to withdraw or transfer cash but also to use ‘plastic money’ with the same card. For instance, in Australia the St George Bank Freedom MultiAccess Visa magnetic-stripe card (with hologram) allows the cardholder to visit ATM machines to withdraw cash using a PIN and also to purchase goods and services by credit using the cardholder’s signature.[32] While this type of system is obviously convenient for the cardholder, questions are continually being raised about the vulnerability of the cards to fraud and theft.          Are Magnetic-stripe Cards Outdated Technology?

While most banks and financial institutions still utilise magnetic-stripe on their customer FTCs, particularly in the U.S., all of the banks in France are reaping the benefits of smart card. “All bankcards in France have a chip imbedded in them... When a French cardholder makes a purchase, the transaction is processed at the point of service using the chip and not the magnetic stripe” (Ayer & McKenna 1997, p. 50).[33] Each of the French chip cards carry a payment application known as B0’. Smart cards have always been a dormant threat to magnetic-stripe but in most countries it has taken until the year 2000 for noticeable migration from the magnetic-stripe card to the smart card to happen. It took almost 40 years to distribute plastic payment cards widely; it will probably take another 10 years before consumers worldwide are comfortable with the multiapplication smart card. Even though the card is a more secure technology enabling the reduction of fraud, many consumers are concerned with the card’s potential uses.[34]

Many banks have conducted feasibility studies on smart cards, either by doing secondary research or conducting pilot studies. Many banks and financial institutions are even seamlessly (to the consumer anyway) transitioning between auto-ID devices. Customers are being supplied with hybrid cards until the migration from magnetic-stripe to smart cards is complete. In the former case, major banks across the world have begun marketing smart card concept to consumers. In Australia for instance in 1997, the ANZ bank advertised the change from magnetic-stripe to smart card in full-page advertisements. One of these announcements is worth noting in full- a magnetic-stripe bankcard appears on the left page and a VISA card (with IC) on the right:

October 1974. There it was in your letterbox. Whether you wanted it or not. A Bankcard. They all looked the same and their new owners likewise, were all treated the same. You were told where to use it and how much you could spend. All that changed. At ANZ it changed faster than most. To the point where you can now enjoy ANZ cards that not only provide credit… Cards that are aligned to your telecommunications company, your airline, and many other major companies you do business with on a daily basis. What next? Well, we’re currently at the forefront of smart card technology. Cards that use a microchip to record details of transactions and the balance on the card. Now won’t that be a nice change? (The Australian 1997, pp. 6-7).

Globally and throughout the 1990s banks conducted widespread smart card trials. In the U.S., Citibank and Chase Manhattan ran a trial in 1997 covering New York City and some 50000 consumers. In 1993, National Westminster Bank and Midland Bank teamed up to trial the Mondex card in Swindon, including 40000 consumers. In the same year, the three largest credit card giants, Europay, MasterCard and Visa, implemented a global standard generally known as the EMV specification for smart card credit cards as they considered future migration paths (Gold 1999a). VISA was the first of the trio to distribute smart cards to their customers. American Express has also made inroads to developing EMV standard credit services. As Ayer and McKenna from VISA International reported (1997, p. 49), the EMV specification is truly global. It allows for the same terminal to accept a variety of payment cards. The aim is to expand the usefulness of payment cards to be able to do much more with them. In France there are even migrations occurring from smart bank cards developed in the 1980s to newer smart cards that adhere to the EMV standard and are based on the MULTOS operating system. Clearly this has been an unsettling period for banks and merchants as the costs to upgrade or replace existing ATM, EFTPOS, electronic cash registers, self-service fuel dispensers and other such terminals to make them smart card-ready are very high. Some have therefore chosen to remain with the magnetic-stripe technology for the interim and may well suffer for it later.[35]      From Electronic Purse to a Cashless Society

The first well-known electronic purse trial was conducted in Denmark, Noestved in 1992. The prepaid card system was called Danmønt A/S. The integrated circuit card (ICC) was used for the payment of small amount transactions such as at vending machines, payphones and transportation.[36] By 1993 the card was rolled out to several large cities, and terminals were located at payphones, parking metres, kiosks and railway. In 1996, there were over 600,000 cards in circulation in 50 Danish cities.[37] In Portugal the SIBS (Sociedade Interbancaria de Servicos) have introduced the Multibanco electronic purse, yet another hybrid card incorporating a microprocessor for purse applications and magnetic-stripe for credit facilities. Close to 7000 smart card terminals have been introduced, the majority are off-line and about one-third can read both magnetic-stripe and smart card technology. Two years after the Danmønt card was introduced, the Mondex card made its debut in the UK.[38] “Enter electronic cash. The idea of digital money is simple enough: instead of storing value on paper, find a way to wrap it in a string of digits that’s more portable” (Ramo 1998, p. 50). It is interesting to note that both Danmønt and Mondex were initiatives of large banks and telephone companies, although the two cards differ in principle. While Danmønt was designed for the payment of small transactions, Mondex was designed[39] for the replacement of cash altogether. “In the English town of Swindon”, Godin writes (1995, p. 84),

...customers at the local McDonald’s buy Big Macs without touching a bank note; pub crawlers at Bass Taverns keep the taps running without tapping their wallets; and grocery shoppers pay for their provisions without currency changing hands. Citizens of Swindon... are participating in a pilot project testing Mondex, a smart card for dispensing digital cash.

In 1994, Mondex was heralded as having the potential to become a global payment system and banks rushed to become a franchisee of the company.[40] In Asia, HongKong Shanghai Bank along with Hang Seng Bank are serving Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Philippines and other surrounding countries with Mondex cards. Chase Manhattan and Wells Fargo along with the Royal Bank of Canada and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) are trialling Mondex in the U.S. and Canada respectively. The Australian banks, National Australia Bank (NAB), Westpac, ANZ and Commonwealth Bank have paid ten million Australian dollars for their right to issue Mondex smart cards to consumers (Moreira 1997, p. 45). Clearly, there is a movement away from the traditional magnetic-stripe FTC and a move towards both the electronic purse and electronic cash.[41] The latter, of course, meaning a world without paper money- a cashless society.[42] DigiCash is another company that is focused on delivering smart card solutions. The company established by Dr David Chaum, a cryptography expert, is part of the consortium of firms that is involved in developing the electronic-wallet for the CAFẺ project (Conditional Access for Europe). A trial is already underway in the European Commission in Brussels.[43]      Biometrics and Beyond- Why carry cards at all?

“Automatic teller machines that identify users just by looking at them are expected to make PIN numbers and ATM cards obsolete” (Johnson 1996, p. 11). Several systems have been developed by U.S. companies using iris identification. The Sensar Corporation, have already installed IrisIdent units in parts of North America and Asia. Citibank liked the idea so much, that it prematurely invested $US3 million into Sensar back in 1997. Nationwide Building Society, Britain’s largest mortgage lender is also trialling Sensar’s product in Britain, using NCR-built ATMs (Brown 1998, p. 52). Oki Electric, a Japanese ATM manufacturer has agreed to buy at least $US35 million in Sensar products within 5 years (Fernandez 1997, p.13). It is significant to note that even if biometric ATMs are phased in, that most banks will still continue to issue customers with some type of card device which will store the individual’s biometric.[44] Biometric systems do seem to remove the need for remembering passwords and account numbers or carrying several cards with expiration dates etc, but they do require each customer to willingly provide a biometric. The up-front cost of installing a biometric system is still not viable for most companies.

Biometrics is also more complex than solutions like RF/ID transponders. Recently, the advantages of transponders with respect to animal identification have been highlighted by print media. Some advocates of the technology say, if chip implants work for animals then they should also work for people. A number of respected scientists see it as a gradual progression to better efficiency and security. Others joke about it and still others nervously acknowledge that mass trials are already technologically feasible.[45] In making reference to electronic cash, a Time Magazine reporter commented, “Your daughter can store the money any way she wants- on her laptop, on a debit card, even (in the not too distant future) on a chip implant under her skin” (Ramo 1998, p.51). U.K. Professor Kevin Warwick, the first man to be implanted with a chip, has also said:

[i]n five years’ time, we will be able to do chip with all sorts of information on them. They could be used for money transfers, medical records, passports, driving licenses, and loyalty cards. And if they are implanted they are impossible to steal. The potential is enormous (Dennis 1998, p. 2).


7.2.2.      Case 4: Transportation

Electronic ticketing systems[46] based on magnetic-stripe technology are now widespread. Most tickets issued for a variety of transportation are made of a thin cardboard containing a magnetic-stripe down one side. They are known as ‘prepayment cards’. While these tickets are highly negotiable, consumers seem to be relatively unconcerned with loss or theft of a ticket. The cost to manufacture and purchase a ticket is relatively low compared to other card types. The movement away from traditional cardboard-only tickets only raised the price of a fare by a few cents and increased revenue manifold. In the U.S. the push toward transit fare automation began in 1972 when BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) in the San Francisco Bay area was introduced.[47] Perhaps one of the successes of the introduction of magnetic-stripe ticketing is that it has allowed for the operation of a unified and standard metropolitan transport system. In Sydney, Australia, the State Rail Authority, the State Transit Authority and Ferry Authority have standardised their magnetic-stripe ticketing system. The Washington transit system also uses a similar set-up (Harrop 1989, p. 342). Weekly or daily tickets can be purchased with ease and used for different types of transport. Consumers who purchase pre-paid tickets for multiple journeys usually receive price discounts (Todd 1990).[48] When standards for magnetic-stripe were being developed the International Air Transport Industry ensured that Track 2 was dedicated solely to air travel. Before any domestic or international flight, the traveller is issued with a boarding pass. Without this pass he or she cannot board the aeroplane even if their passport has been stamped by immigration. A boarding pass contains flight and seating information, the traveller’s name and flight class in the front and a magnetic stripe at the back.[49]

One of the biggest boosts to the magnetic-stripe card industry was the introduction of loyalty cards attached to air transportation especially. The idea has been around since the late 1980s but it picked up momentum in the late 1990s with frequent flyer card programs linked up with hotel chains and rental car companies.[50] As far back as in 1987, the Airplus Company (initially backed by the top 13 European airlines) launched its loyalty card.[51] Similarly in 1989, the Alitalia airline was offering a twenty per cent discount on full-fare domestic flights in Italy for Alicard cardholders.

Alicard, which is personalised and carries a magnetic stripe (the stripe is inactive and for ‘image’ purposes only), is being produced by a Rome-based subsidiary... Air industry observers consider Alitalia’s foray into the plastic card business part of an overall attempt to build itself an image as an innovator and improve its level of service (Card World 1990, p. 44).

The new loyalty card market is booming in that more and more consumers are subscribing to programs.[52] Under the guise of Club Miles, Frequent-Flyer, Fly-buys, Air Miles, The Travel Club, Reward Card, Premier Points, Executive Club and other so-named programs, consumers are rewarded for their loyalty by discounted or free flights, upgrades to flight class or airline lounges or hotel rooms etc. Companies from all types of industries are enjoying the co-branding concept, especially airlines that have teamed with large hotel chains, credit card corporations and telecommunications operators. What is important to highlight, however, is that the cost of these programs to airlines, hotels, and card companies is high and the return questionable.  “The current process is inconvenient for the consumer, costly for the travel company to administer, and a nightmare for a corporate travel and finance department to manage” (Wesley & Wilkey 1997, p. 201).        The Smart Choice for Contactless Ticketing

Magnetic-stripe tickets have been successful in increasing commuter throughput at peak hour periods but many operators are concerned with the increasing means to counterfeit this media (Dinning 1997, p. 186). For this reason, smart cards have been introduced to many transit systems all over the world (see exhibit 7.4 on the following page).[53] Among the most advanced is that established in Hong Kong. The consortium Creative Star has integrated the ticketing system for trains, buses, taxis, trams and ferries.[54] The contactless card allows commuters to pass through turnstiles without having to insert it in a reader. The consumer has the choice between a personalised and non-personalised card. In the U.K., Transys will also be developing a smart card system for London Transport (LT). It is proposed that (Jones 1998, p. 4):

[a]utomatic gating will be extended to all the London Underground stations and existing automatic gates will be upgraded to read smart cards. Electronic ticketing machines will be introduced in all buses operating in London. Transys will also take over the operation of London Transport’s Pass Agent ticket retailing network operated confectioners, newsagents and tobacconists and collect revenue from them. Some 2,300 retail outlets will have the equipment for issuing smart cards.[55]

Exhibit 7.4 Different Types of E-Tickets


The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) trialled contactless smart cards in 1995. The ‘Go Card’ as it has been named, can also be used to pay for commuter parking.[56] The MAPS concept calls for the ability to pay for all transit purchases from bus fairs to parking fees and tolls (Cunningham 1993, pp. 021-025). Additionally, smart transit cards have been used in agreement with universities and other applications.

The smart card is not only convenient for the consumer but provides a wealth of knowledge for operators in terms of resource allocation and transport network optimisation (Blythe 1996; Blythe & Holland 1998).[57] Readers linked to an information system can gather important statistical data that can assist with planning present and future transport services. For example, an operator has the ability to count the number of passengers that use particular bus, train and ferry routes at particular times of the day. In Singapore, this idea has been taken one step further with the fully operational ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) system. Drivers do not only go through toll gates without stopping[58] but information collected allows operators to locate congested areas at peak traffic times, plan for new roads or redirect traffic through other routes.[59] This type of system has enormous implications for congested and polluted cities such as Athens[60] in Greece.[61] Although a manual system is presently in place allowing certain cars (i.e. identified by car number plates) access to the city on certain days, a smart card capable system could work better.[62] RF/ID technology is also being utilised to pay for fuel consumption. In 1998, the Tokheim Corporation incorporated TIRIS (Texas Instruments’ Registration and Identification System)[63] into their premier fuel dispensers. Marsh (1998a, p. 1) described how the system works:

The heart of TIRIS ‘gas-and-go’ technology is a small transponder key ring, or vehicle tag... A reader integrated in the pump transmits a signal to the transponder that answers back in milliseconds with a unique identification code that’s been linked to the customer’s credit card in a host database. The consumer’s credit card is then authorised for payment.

In the Italian city of Turin, the public transport company ordered a Confident RF/ID system (TagMaster AB) for its 900 buses, 300 trams and drivers. “[T]he ID tags in the system will also make it possible to get information about mileage, fuel consumption and service interval status of the vehicles” (Marsh 1998b, p. 1).

In October 1995, at the Passenger Services Conference, a smart card subcommittee was established to develop an airline industry smart card standard.[64] Problems envisaged with electronic ticketing, namely how to identify a passenger quickly without a paper boarding pass, led to the formation of the subcommittee.[65] Delta Airlines, Lufthansa and Air France are now using IATA standard smart cards.[66] Delta Airlines[67] have issued smart cards to frequent flyers between New York, Boston and Washington. The contactless chip card is swiped by the passenger at the boarding gate for authorisation to board the plane.[68] The card not only acts as the ticket but serves the other functions of a Frequent Flyer Card and credit card. Lufthansa have already issued hundreds of thousands of smart cards to its frequent flyers and Senator cardholders (see exhibit 7.4).[69] Known as the ChipCard, the card is used on all German domestic flights as well as from London and Paris. The card is truly a multiapplication card, as it can be used for making telephone calls in Germany, as a credit card, and Air Travel Card, a ‘Miles and More’ frequent flyer card, a membership card for airport lounges, and a boarding authority for passengers. Different from the Delta Airlines frequent flyer card, the ChipCard is both contact and contactless. When boarding the passenger does not need to insert the card in a reader but simply walk past the RF reader near the gate. Air France also records the passenger itinerary on the ATB Pectab Gemplus smart card.

Just as magnetic-stripe cards can be stolen, so can smart cards. For that reason, it is possible that an unauthorised person may be allowed to travel accidentally.[70] To counter this potential security breach, some authorities around the world have integrated smart cards with biometrics (Halpin 1999). As the traveller passes through immigration, he/she must insert a card into a reader at the first gate. The information stored on the card is read and verified. Different airports around the world are using different human characteristics, varying from fingerprints, hand geometry or a combination of both. The sample taken is then matched with a record in the database and the image on the card. If there is an exact match, the passenger is allowed to travel. Such a system is being promoted by IATA and is already in use in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Switzerland and Taiwan and the U.S. In the latter, the system is known as INSPASS and has about 100000 persons officially registered.[71]


7.3.   Smart Cards Product Innovation

When highlighting the various types of smart card product innovations it is impossible not to be repetitious. Like the magnetic-stripe card and bar code card before it, the smart card can be applied to many different applications (Datamonitor 1996, ch. 3).[72] The question is whether or not the smart card is the best-fit solution to the problem at hand. For example, “[i]n France, virtually all bank cards have been converted from ‘magnetic stripe’ technology to chip technology to cut down on fraud” (Lever 1997, p. 18);[73] yet the same level of migration cannot be assumed in all parts of the world. It is therefore not surprising that it was also in France that one of the first multiapplication city smart cards was trialled in Vitrolles in 1990 (Sola 1990).[74] Health cards using smart card technology have also become common.[75] Smart cards can store patient information making the processing of transactions particularly in hospitals easier.[76] However fully networked and integrated health care systems that incorporate end-to-end health provision are still lacking.[77] Smart cards are also being used more and more for travel and to reduce traffic congestion.[78] The largest application of smart cards however is for public telephones.[79] While the benefits offered by smart payphone cards over magnetic-stripe payphone cards are negligible, telephone operators are strategically positioning themselves for tomorrow’s mass market consumer applications.[80] The development of the Global Standard for Mobile Telecommunications (GSM) required a subscriber identity module (SIM) to be inserted into the mobile handset.[81] Smart cards are also being used for cable television (CATV) to prevent unauthorised viewing of programs[82] and for metering of household energy use.[83] University smart cards are also widely used. Many governments are also looking into smart cards for social welfare recipients and more general for citizen identification (i.e. for voting). See exhibit 7.5 for examples.

Exhibit 7.5 The Diverse Range of Smart Card Applications

Exhibit 7.5 The Diverse Range of Smart Card Applications



7.3.1.      Case 5: Telecommunications

Without a doubt, prepaid smart cards for public payphones account for the largest segment of the smart card market (Crotch-Harvey 1996). In 1995, telecommunication-specific smart cards accounted for 80 per cent of the market. This figure is likely to change after the year 2005[84] as more and more applications are built for financial and health services. The first recognised trial of smart cards for prepaid telephone cards was by the French Post Telephone and Telegraph (PTT) in 1982-83. The French justified the move from coin operated payphones to smart card payphones by highlighting that about 15 per cent of phone call tariffs were lost as a direct result of telephone charging frauds and coin theft (Svigals 1987, p. 97). The French trials were so successful that in 1984 ten thousand smart card payphones were installed in France with 400,000 smart cards issued to consumers. By 1995 there were a reported 1.5 billion prepaid telephone cards sold- “four hundred million of these were smart cards that can be accepted in one of every five payphones in more than 70 countries” (Lutz 1997, p. 131). The smart cards used by French Telecom were made by Gemplus.[85] In 1994 US WEST marketed the Telecard smart card in conjunction with the Nortel Millennium payphone.[86] In 1995, Québec Telephone became the first company in North America to modernise its entire payphone system.[87] In 1996, BellSouth chose to team up with Nortel at the Atlanta Olympic Games. BellSouth deployed 200 smart card-compatible Nortel Millennium[88] intelligent payphones which were able to handle VISA Cash.[89] The Millennium payphone is multi-pay, multi-card capable, “[i]t accepts VISA Cash as well as magnetic-striped, commercial credit and calling cards, and coins” (Scarlett & Manley 1996, p. 3). By 1997, the smart cards had become so popular that Mondex International decided to use the Nortel Millennium payphone and Nortel PowerTouch 360 (also known as the Vista in Canada) to offer electronic banking and home banking services.[90]

Another use of smart cards in telecommunications since 1992 is as a SIM card, also known as the User Identity Module (UIM), for mobile handsets.  As Kaplan describes (1996, p. 162):

SIM cards contain non-volatile information embedded by the manufacturer related to security and identity, and a programmable memory (electrically erasable) to provide for optional and dynamically changeable information.

It is the microchip in the SIM card that authorises the subscriber’s connection to the network. This way the subscriber can place and receive calls. The card is personalised in such a way that the subscriber’s account information is stored on the microchip.[91] Other data includes card ID, PIN, service features, access class and memory configuration. Subscribers can remove the SIM card and put it into any other GSM handset and all the subscriber-customised features will work, provided they are the same standard size (e.g. standard ISO SIM card known as the ID-1 format). Another excellent feature of the SIM is that it allows for global roaming.[92] The most important function of the SIM card is that of billing.[93] A subscriber can take their card with them anywhere and have total control of who uses it- PIN enabling the SIM is always a safe practice for any subscriber just in case they lose their phone or have it stolen.[94]

Reports which herald the SIM as a vital piece of tomorrow’s wireless personal digital assistants (PDA) do so for good reason (Ince 1997, pp. 26-30). Japan’s NTT DoCoMo launched i-Mode[95] at the end of 2000, to trial a packet-switched mode of transmission over the current 2G mobile environment.[96] Some 3000 companies are now offering transaction capabilities over i-Mode officially linked to DoCoMo’s mobile commerce billing system. The results speak for themselves; more than 50 per cent of mobile subscribers use i-Mode and some 40,000 new subscribers are joining the network each day. Current i-Mode applications allow the user to do anything that the ‘fixed’ Internet offers, such as book airline tickets, buy and sell shares on the stock market, play their favourite games, check the latest weather forecasts, shop and browse for products, play government-approved lotteries, download images and even use the company’s intranet.[97] In the future it is not inconceivable that the wireless personal digital assistant (PDA) or e-wallet[98] will become the future mechanism by which all purchases, even government transactions are made. Coupled with mobility will be the ability to use the same smart card in the home. In the case of such cable television applications like video-on-demand (VoD) or home shopping, smart cards have the ability to not only grant the customer access to subscription channels but also to charge the individual for content viewed and items purchased (Hendry 1997, p. 153).[99] Lutz adds (1997, p. 141) that “[s]mart cards can add substantial value to th[e] growing industry by providing payment options, access authorisations, personalised services, and security”.[100]      Smart versus “Dumb” Cards

In 1990, Telecom Australia introduced the Phonecard- a prepaid telephone card system. The technology supplied by the Anritsu Corporation had been used in Japan for some years successfully. Cook (1990, p. 1) an executive of Telecom’s payphone services (business unit) described the technology choice in conference proceedings.

The technology revolves around an encoded magnetic stripe which is credited with a series of dollar values ($5, $10, $20 and $50) that are decremented according to the call type when inserted in the payphone…

Telecom saw many benefits to the widespread roll-out of magnetic-stripe technology. They believed that it would increase profitability of their payphone business, reduce vandalism and theft of public payphones and be more convenient for the consumer. Telecom produced in excess of 10 million cards per year and over 75 per cent of payphones accepted PhoneCard. However, Telecom did reveal that the costs of producing and distributing the cards were expensive when counted with the costs of upgrades to payphones (Cook 1990, p. 5). The Telecom experience is quite typical of many telephone operators’ experience in the United States. The company was aware of smart card technology being used in France at the time of making the magnetic-stripe decision but opted for the ‘safer’ option. Perhaps this was a strategic decision, for Telecom Australia, now called Telstra, to gauge consumer reaction to the PhoneCard before moving towards the more expensive smart card solution. Still, this was either an expensive strategic move or an expensive loss. In 1997, Telstra launched ‘Smart Phonecards’ in Perth.[101] Within a six-month transition period all magnetic-stripe cards were phased out and new payphone terminals were installed (developed by Spanish manufacturer Amper). Telstra have made it obvious that the new Telstra Smart Phonecard would also facilitate cashless payment for a variety of goods.[102]

Telecom’s pre-paid PhoneCard should be differentiated from other services that are presently being offered by telephone operators. For instance, using the AT&T Direct Service requires a consumer only to be in possession of a recognised credit card such as American Express, MasterCard, Diners Club or an AT&T corporate card. The service offered by AT&T does not require the use of the magnetic-stripe technology to make a call internationally. The process only requires the use of a touchtone telephone. The cardholder enters the special AT&T Access Number (dependent on where the call is being originated), dials the international telephone number and then enters the AT&T Calling Card number plus the credit card number followed by the four digit expiration date to complete the call. All calls are then billed to the cardholder’s credit card. If the process of dialling all these numbers seems prone to error, that is because it is. Telephone operators have a host of calling card services some of which only require the cardholder of an access card to dial an operator which then places a call on behalf of the caller. Newer more innovative secure network access can be achieved using biometrics (Messmer 1998, pp. 1-2).

7.3.2.      Case 6: Health Care

Almost every patient in a more developed country (MDC) possesses a health care card of some type, whether he or she is covered by private health insurance or a government medicare scheme.[103] While in Europe and Canada (see table 7.2 on the following page) smart cards have been prevalent in the health care sector, other countries such as the U.S. and Australia have lagged behind.[104] In France the Sesame Vitale scheme has been in place since 1986. The smart card scheme used to assist the French Social Security boasts of approximately 10 million French citizens and over 100000 doctors and other health professionals. Ultimately the scheme will cover the entire French population for the primary purpose of proving the identification of the cardholder and conveying prescriptions to pharmacists. The scheme is not directly concerned with individual patient medical records- this is the task of another card called Santal.[105] In 1989 the German Health Insurance Card,[106] Versichertenkarte, was distributed to citizens by government, enforceable by law.[107] The card was used to provide individuals with access to medical treatment and to assist with billing of services and the reduction of administration costs.[108] By the end of 1994 the card was issued to about 79 million persons. The content on the patient card included: title, given name, surname, date of birth, address, name of health fund, insurance company identification number, patient health insurance number, status of the insured and the card expiration date. The magnitude of this project cannot be underestimated. European-wide smart card health schemes are also being promoted by the Advanced Informatics Medicine (AIM) program, now that the European Union (EU) is a reality.[109]

Table 7.2      Major Health Card Projects

Country | Scheme Name | Main Suppliers

Belgium | Hemocard | Gemplus

Canada | Québec Health Card

Canada | Ontario Encounter Card

France | Santal |Bull CP8, replaced by Solaic

France | ARMA (“Dialybre”) | Gemplus[110]

France | Sesame Vitale | Bull CP8, Schlumberger TRT-Philips

France | Mutuelles de France | C3S, Gemplus, Innovatron

Germany | Versichertenkarte | Gemplus, TRT-Philips

Italy | A Casa | Schlumberger[111]

Netherlands | DSW Pharmacard (“Gezondheipas”)

Switzerland | Sanacard | Bull CP8

UK | Exeter Card

USA | SmartCard | Berdy Medical Systems

Source: Complied and adapted from DataMonitor (1996, pp. 24-42, ch. 3).


The Québec health card developed by the Laval University Medical centre and the Québec Health Insurance board was piloted in May 1993. About 7,000 cards were issued to potential participants and about 300 doctors, pharmacists and nurses were targeted. The information on the health card was grouped in five separate zones: identification, emergency, vaccination, medications and medical history. In Ontario, in the same year the Encounter smart card was also piloted. Cards were issued to about 2,200 volunteers and 80 health care providers. The card contained three separate sections: biographical, health status data and encounter (patient visiting) data. However what was different about this card was that it contained not only numbers relevant to health but also the unique lifetime identifier (ULI) of the patient represented in the registered persons official database. According to Lindley (1997, p. 97) there have been over 30 health card trials between 1985-1990- some have proven in and others have not.[112]      Privacy Concerns over Smart Card

The Medicare card distributed to all Australian citizens entitles the cardholder to receive government-funded medical services and benefits. For example, the card can be used to subsidise patient visits to general practitioners (GPs). The card contains a magnetic-stripe, an embossed number, an expiry date and the name(s) of the cardholder. Before a cardholder can see a doctor, he/she must present the card which is carbon-copied and forwarded to the Health Insurance Commission (HIC) for processing. Due to earlier privacy concerns regarding pseudo national ID cards, attempts to introduce a smart card were extinguished as was the proposed Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). The Minister of Health in 1991 promised the public that a smart card would never replace the existing system.[113] However, the Warren Centre still believed that a smart card would “improve the administration of PBS, and reduce fraud and errors... a smart chip could also be added to the Medicare card, storing the history of the drugs issued and for which benefits had been paid” (Privacy Committee of NSW 1995, p. 32).[114] The process proposed by the Warren Centre was not only seen as efficient to administration but possibly life-saving for the patient.[115] Private health care funds in Australia are also beginning to roll-out magnetic-stripe cards. MBF (Medical Benefits Fund) distributed cards to their customers in 1998. The MBF card unlike the Medicare Card is not embossed but does display the cardholder’s signature. When patients claim rebates on health services that are not covered by Medicare, they must now present their private health insurance card as a way for the health fund to track expenses. Previously, the system was confusing for patients and health institutions wishing to claim money owed to them- several different medical bills for health services made reconciliation difficult. The MBF cardholder is also entitled to discounts at certain health-related companies like Rebel sports store and entertainment venues (MBF 1999). Other auto-ID devices being used in health care include biometrics[116] and RF/ID.[117]


7.4.   Biometric Product Innovations

Unisys is just one of about twenty well-known companies that have promoted biometric technology to be used with the following applications: social services, driver licensing, voter registration, inmate verification, national identity, immigration control, patient verification and banking (see exhibit 7.6). Several U.S. states have biometric identification programs already for the distribution of social welfare including in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Texas.[118] Also in the U.S. two airports have been equipped with biometric technology for the purpose of immigration control. At Newark and JFK airports, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service Passenger Accelerated Service System (INSPASS) uses hand recognition terminals (see table 7.3 on the following page).[119] In Columbia, voters must have an official voter identification card complete with photograph and digitised fingerprints before they can legally participate in the election process (O’Connor 1997, p. 4). Jamaica is also experimenting with fingerprint minutiae data for a register of eligible voters (Woodward 1997, p. 1483).[120]

Table 7.3      Biometric Systems in North America

Name of Automatic Inspection | Travel Type | Countries

INSPASS | Airport | U.S.

INSPASS | Land | U.S.

CANPASS | Airport | Canada

PORTPASS | Land- Dedicated Commuter Lane | U.S.

PORTPASS | Land- Automated Permit Port | U.S.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is another user of biometric equipment. Before IAFIS[121] (Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System) was developed, the FBI manually processed fingerprint cards, since about the 1920s. By 1997, the projected growth of automated fingerprint live-scans was estimated at 20,000 per work day (Higgins 1995, p. 409). The United Kingdom (UK) National AFIS (NAFIS)[122] involving the Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO) is another system that shares similar characteristics to IAFIS. As Roethenbaugh reported (1998, p. 2):

By the year 2000, it is expected that NAFIS will support a database of over six million ten-print sets (60 million images) and up to one hundred thousand scenes of crime latents. Between eight and nine million ten-print sets are expected in the database by 2010.

Inmate verification is another application of biometrics. Since 1990, Cook County (Illinois) Sheriff’s Department has been using retinal scanning to process prisoners (Ritter 1995). The Department processes between 300 and 500 people per day, mostly in the morning and has compiled a database of 350,000 individuals (Brakeman 1998, pp. 1-3). According to Tom Miller of the U.S. Department of Justice, inmates, prison staff and visitors will be required to enrol in the biometric system at all Federal prisons in a bid to reduce inmate escapes.[123]

Exhibit 7.6 Concern for Security Means a Variety of Biometric Applications Proliferate

Biometrics systems once considered for law enforcement purposes only are now being used in private enterprises (see exhibit 7.6 above).[124] New products such as the AFIM (Automated Fingerprint Recognition Machine) Time Security System by International Automated Systems (IAS) are being marketed to employers who would like additional payroll accuracy.[125] Among the advantages IAS outlined are cost effectiveness, improvement in manager’s effectiveness, and employee morale. Australia’s largest supermarket chain, Woolworths Ltd has been using Identix fingerprint scanners for about 3 years to monitor employee attendance. “Instead of punching time cards, about 100,000 employees check into PCs located in 500 stores. Each store has one or two PCs running time and attendance software” (Aragon 1998, p. 5). Coca-Cola uses hand scanning for time and attendance for some of its employees (Chandrasekaran 1997).[126] At universities, biometric systems have been introduced for meal allowances, entrance into examinations and tutorial attendance. At the University of Georgia for example, hand geometry has been in place since 1972 for the former reason (Weise 1998, p. 3). In banking several trials have been conducted using fingerprint identification for ATM cardholder verification in order to do away with the traditional PIN. More recently however, iris ATMs, have been given much attention in the popular press:

Sensar’s product, IrisIdent, uses a standard video camera, military technology that points and zooms the camera at a customer’s right eye and a software program that digitally maps the eye and matches it with a file copy. This digital map traces the tiny hills and valleys of the iris’s delicate tissue, which is about one-sixth the surface area of the eye… (Fernandez 1997, p. 10).


One of the most challenging to design and yet the most acceptable form of biometrics is voice recognition.[127] Nortel Networks (formerly Northern Telecom) has been a world leader in offering total solutions for public and private operators. In Canada and the U.S. people are able to use spoken commands to access information. In some parts of Canada, a subscriber who wishes to access directory assistance or dial a number can do so by speaking the digits into a handset (Cameron, H. et al 1996, p. 32).

ADAS Plus uses speech recognition to discern the caller’s language preference, the city for which a telephone number is requested, and whether the listing is residential or non-residential. The system displays the information on a monitor, and a human operator provides the actual listing.[128]

Nortel Networks’ speech-recognition applications include: Automated Alternate Billing Service (AABS), AudioGram Delivery Service (ADS), Automated Directory Assistance Service (ADAS), StockTalk, Voice-Activated dialling, Business-Name dialling, help desk, corporate directory (Cameron 1996, pp. 29-41). The business case for high-volume call centres like hotels, airlines or car reservation companies to incorporate voice recognition is becoming more and more viable (Datamonitor 1998).[129]

7.4.1.      Case 7: Government Services

In the U.S. biometrics systems have been used for electronic benefits transfer (EBT) and other social services, since July 1991 (Campbell et al. 1996). In a bid to stop fraud, the Los Angeles County in California introduced AFIRM[130] (Automated Fingerprint Image Reporting and Match) for the administration of its General Relief (GR) program in the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS). GR is for people who are not eligible for financial assistance from both the federal and state governments. In 1994, National Registry Incorporated (NRI) supplied finger-image identification systems to the Department of Social Services (DSS) in Suffolk County and Nassau County, New York. The New Jersey Department of Human Services and DSS of Connecticut were also later clients of NRI- all requiring finger-image systems to eliminate fraudulent activities. David Mintie, the project coordinator of Digital Imaging for the state of Connecticut, reported that this electronic personal ID system (1996, p.1):

- conveniently and accurately enrols qualified General Assistance (GA) and Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) clients into a statewide database
- issues tamper-resistant identification cards that incorporate finger-image ‘identifiers’ stored in two-dimensional bar codes
- uses finger-image identification to verify that enrolled clients are eligible to receive benefits.


Also in 1995 the San Diego Department of Social Services (DSS) announced that it was implementing a pilot project for a fingerprint identification solution to ensure that public funds were being distributed to the correct recipients. Among the problems of the legacy system outlined by the county supervisor were the falsification of photos, signatures and social security numbers which were encouraging applicants to sustain multiple identities (commonly referred to as double-dipping). In November of 1996 the Pennsylvania DPW issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for an automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS). As Mateer of BHSUG reported (1996, p. 2), the system referred to as PARIS[131] (Pennsylvania Automated Recipient Identification System) will “capture digitised fingerprint, photo, and signature images of cash, food stamp, and medical assistance ‘payment name’ recipients, who are required to visit county assistance offices (CAOs).”

In 1996 in Spain, all citizens requiring to be considered for unemployment benefits or worker’s compensation were issued with a smart card by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (Kaplan 1996, pp. 31f). The so-named TASS (Tarjeta de la Seguridad Social Espanola)[132] initiative requires the fingerprints of the smart card holder.[133] Unisys reported that by early 1997 about 633 kiosks would have been installed in eight cities of the Andalucia region, covering about one fifth of Spain’s total population (i.e. approximately 7 million persons). The TASS project has brought together some of the biggest telecommunications manufacturers, like Motorola (IC), Fujitsu-Eritel (network infrastructure), AT&T (kiosks), Siemens Nixdorf (smart card reader/writers) and Telefonica Sistemas (portable reader/writers). Similarly the Dutch National ChipCard Platform (NCP) requires the cardholder’s personal and biometric data to be stored on a smart card “…and be readable across a wide variety of terminals- for instance at libraries, banks, insurance companies, theatres, municipal authorities and mass transit undertakings” (Jones ed. 1996, p. 6). Cambodia’s national identification card also stores biometrics (fingerprints) but on a 2-D bar code instead of an integrated circuit.[134]

INSPASS is envisioned to grow to include other airports at Miami Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Old sites at JFK, Newark, Toronto and Vancouver are being upgraded with the latest technology. The focus will be to replace hand geometric devices with fingerprint devices in the long-term to ensure standardisation. In 1996, the German federal government was seeking to implement hand geometry at the Frankfurt’s Main Airport. The preferred German biometric technology was hand geometry which differed to that biometric used in the INSPASS project at Newark, JFK and Toronto airport. The U.S. and Canada are not the only nations that are working on automated inspection systems for immigration purposes. In 1996, others countries included Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Holland, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Bermuda. Travellers who would like to be identified using biometrics have to undergo a profile security check by authorities. In the case of North America, this includes checking whether the traveller is a permanent resident or citizen of the U.S., Canada, Bermuda or part of the Visa Waiver Pilot Program (VWPP), has a criminal history or any previous customs infringements. If the traveller is deemed to be of low risk, they are enrolled[135] to use the system for one year- the pass must be renewed annually. Only PortPASS holders are required to pay a small fee to enrol. When INSPASS began there were 2000 frequent fliers, now there are over 100000.      Towards Integrated Auto-ID Systems

In the past, governments worldwide have been criticised for their inefficiencies regarding the distribution of social services.[136] There are still many developed countries around the world which use paper-based methods in the form of vouchers, coupons, ration cards, concession cards to operate large-scale federal and state programs. As recent as 1994, even the Department of Agriculture in the U.S. issued paper coupons for food stamp programs, it was not long before they moved to an electronic system  (Hausen & Bruening 1994, p. 26). Since that time, the U.S. also introduced ‘food card’ applications using magnetic-stripe (Pennsylvania- since 1984) and smart cards (Ohio since 1992). Some states used magnetic-stripe cards to help verify that the patient is indeed eligible for ‘free’ consultations to the doctor. The magnetic-stripe card first replaced paper based records that were prone to error. Smart cards are also being increasingly promoted by government agencies, many of them set to store citizen biometrics for additional security purpose. The latest trend in Federal and State government systems is program centralisation (Marshall 1997, pp. 10-15).[137] Using database matching[138] principles and smart card technology, one card can be used to store all the citizen’s personal information as well as their eligibility status to various State programs.[139] The single card approach not only greatly reduces operational costs but is equipped to catch out persons who have deliberately set out to mislead the government.[140] In the U.S. for instance, there is a new Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) paradigm which calls “for a single card that can deliver benefits from multiple government programs across all states... federal planners hope the entire country will be under the new system by 1999” (Robins 1995, p. 58). The initial focus is on food stamps and AFDC but other benefits such as old-age pension, veteran survivors, and unemployment will eventually be integrated into the system (Jackson 1996b, pp. 1-2).

Singapore, Spain, Germany and the Czech Republic were some of the first countries to introduce national ID smart cards[141]. One of the largest-scale smart card government projects is in China, led by China Citizen Card Consortium. The plan is to have one integrated card for citizen identification, health care and financial purposes. “The smart card is set to store the bearer’s ID number, health care code, address, birthdate, parents’ names, spouse’s name and a fingerprint” (Valles 1998, p.7). The Taiwan government is willing to learn from this Chinese initiative as their own paper-based identification card (as of 1998) was extremely ineffective- it did not carry a magnetic-stripe, nor did it have embossed numbers and it was very flimsy. The Philippines government[142] is also embarking on a national ID card project which will include biometric data as are the South Africans with the Home Affairs National ID System (Woodward 1997, p. 1483). Malaysia[143] and Thailand are also following in the footsteps of Singapore. In 1998 in South America, there were smart card trials in Brazil (Curitiba) where 30000 city employees were issued with smart cards that acted as a government ID and allowed monetary transactions. In 1999, the program was extended to families of municipal employees, and then to the city’s entire 1.5 million urban population” (Automatic I.D. 1998, p. 1). This ID card has an RF interface, i.e. it is contactless. More recently, Saudi Arabia has embarked on a national ID scheme.

The U.S. Department of Defence (DOD) instituted a multiapplication smart card to replace the various military paper records, tags and other cards. The MARC program (Multi-Technology Automated Reader Card) was a targeted pilot in the Asia Pacific with 50000 soldiers. According to authorities, it was so successful that the card was distributed to all 1.4 million active duty armed forces personnel.[144] Many believe that MARC was a large-scale trial necessary to prove-in a national ID for all citizens in the U.S., incorporating numerous government programs.[145] Coordinator, Michael Noll said that the ultimate goal of MARC was:

‘[a] single standard, multiple-use card that [could] be used across the government’... for applications such as payroll, employee records, health care and personnel assignments (Jackson 1996a, p. 41).


Exhibit 7.7 Integrated Manual and Auto-ID Systems for Government Solutions

MARC was first used during the Gulf War crisis. The card contains a magnetic-stripe and integrated circuit, as well as a photograph and embossed letters and numbers and it can handle up to 25 applications. Like the U.S., Singapore is also presently testing a military ID card. The Clinton Administration also wanted to adopt smart card technology to track the expenses of federal government staff, responsible for 8.5 billion US dollars of annual expenditure. The card would be used to log travel expenses, make small purchases and allow for building access (Jones ed. 1998, p. 16). Also, smart cards may be the driving force behind digital signatures allowing for encrypted messages between government agencies and citizens when Internet ecommerce applications like online taxation are finally implemented properly.[146] Exhibit 7.7 on the previous page is a collage of government-to-citizen identification systems for various programs discussed in this section.

7.4.2.      Case 8: Entertainment

Expo ‘92 was held in Seville, Spain. There, season ticket holders had to carry a smart card and use a biometric fingerprint reader to have access to the sites. The biometric fingerprint system was produced by the Bull subsidiary, Telesincro (M. Chadwick 1992, p. 253). The aim at this event was to prevent ticket holders from giving their passes to their friends and family members to use.[147] This was quite an innovative solution for its time. Similarly visitors wishing to have seasonal or annual passes into Walt Disney’s theme parks in Florida U.S.A., also have to use a fingerprint biometric system (Chandrasekaran 1997). Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney MGM are all involved in the biometric trial. The system uses fingerprint recognition and the measurement is useable at each of the three theme parks (SJB 1996a, p. 1). Face recognition systems have even made their debut in ten Nevada casinos. The joint venture between Mr. Payroll and Wells Fargo & Company uses the Miros TrueFace engine and Atreva machines. Gaming patrons can only cash their cheques after agreeing for their picture to be taken. Once enrolled the patrons have their image stored for future identification. In 2001, Identix installed fingerprint recognition systems for patrons in two Las Vegas casinos. Biometrics systems are also used at global sporting events like the Olympic Games. Since Barcelona (Spain) in 1992 the level of security biometrics offers was recognised more widely. Access to the air traffic control tower at the airport in Barcelona was limited to fewer than 200 persons using signature recognition in case of terrorist attacks.[148] At the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games over 40000 athletes, staff and volunteers used a biometric system which measured hand geometry. Those wishing to have access to the Olympic Village required to have their hand characteristics verified. There were 125 verification devices installed at entry points into high security areas. Despite these security measures an attacker was still able to plant a bomb that went off in the village. At the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics a biometric system was used to track biathletes.[149]      Card Technologies Welcome

Smart cards are being used more and more in the entertainment business. Casinos, clubs and bars, sports complexes, cinemas, arcades, fun parks and conferences are using card technologies to encourage loyalty[150] and to verify the user’s ID. McCrindle (1990, pp. 163-170) describes some excellent international examples:

- Pathe Cinema in France: the smart card is pre-loaded with ten tickets. Used as a loyalty card by offering discounts on bulk ticket purchases
- Club Mediterranee in France: guests can use the smart card as a payment card. All their transactions are billed to the one card and can be checked at any time using terminals around the club facilities
- Dallington Country Club:[151] the smart card grants users access to sporting facilities, bars, restaurants, and other shops. The card also has an electronic purse function- users are charged accordingly. The system effectively automates the management of the club as well by monitoring membership control, subscription collection and other statistics.


As already mentioned Olympic and Commonwealth Games venues are always promoting the use of cash cards and other auto-ID technologies. An estimated 100000 disposable smart cards and 2000 reloadable smart cards were used at Kuala Lumpur at the Commonwealth Games in 1998. The cards were a showcase for the proposed identification card in Malaysia. It was also more convenient for visitors to use electronic cash for buying goods and services.[152] Companies who are still promoting magnetic-stripe cards find that entertainment applications are a steady market. Access Control Technologies (ACT) Incorporated specialise in entertainment solutions using prepaid card systems for cashless vending.[153] Like ACT Incorporated, the Plastag Corporation[154] is also a supplier of magnetic-stripe cards to entertainment companies. Plastag is one of the largest manufacturers of casino cards, servicing many states in the U.S. like Naivete, New Jersey, Michigan, Indiana and Missouri.[155]


7.5.   RF/ID Product Innovations

RF/ID tags and transponders can be used for a variety of applications.[156] RF/ID can be used to identify humans,[157] animals, places and things.[158] Consider the following applications outlined by Schwind (1990, pp. 1-20):

- people, livestock, laboratory animals, fish, and many other live species fit the animal category…
- livestock can be coded with a collar and code tag that could be used to record their movements and allot feed or access to it…
- laboratory mice all look alike but an injectable code transponder serialises each to permit sorting… and to accurately record experiments
- place or positions are important to many operations. Guided vehicles can use RF/ID to locate pick-up and drop-off points
- place or position can be identified as a check, demarcation, action or identification point.

Of course the applications are not limited to these alone. ‘Electronic jails’, pet microchipping, studies in animal migration, monitoring postal system efficiency, car immobilisers, electronic article surveillance (EAS),[159] electronic asset tracking, gun control,[160] tracking athletes during marathons and triathlons, paging doctors and other hospital staff, visitor guidance, patient retinal and cochlear implants, toll tagging and lot access, automatic phone re-direction, lighting and climate quality control, alarms and safety can all be implemented using RF/ID tags and transponders. The greatest impact RF/ID transponders have made is in industrial automation.[161]

7.5.1.      Case 9: Animal Tracking and Monitoring

Transponders are excellent mechanisms to identify and keep track of animals especially in closed systems (Finkenzeller 1999, pp. 245-253). Among the key attributes of RF/ID are permanency, inexpensiveness, ease of application and legibility at a distance (Geers et al. 1997, p. 25). Traditional methods[162] of identifying animals are considered inefficient when compared to transponder implant technology.

First, tags can be damaged, lost or tampered with which means data integrity is limited. Second, the information from the tag must be manually entered into the information system, leaving the barn door open for errors. Tattooing horse, cow and dog lips provides positive identification but it requires manual inspection and verification (Scan Journal 1990, p. 4-9).

An example of a transponder that has been developed for the purpose of identifying animals is the Destron electronic ID.[163] The electronic ID can be injected into an animal and the device remains embedded in the animal for life. Anytime the microchip is scanned by the correct reader, it provides the animal’s unique ID code. Other transponder systems include: TROVAN,[164] TIRIS,[165] AVID, Biomark[166] and TX1400L (Hughes Identification Devices). Such transponders are being used to positively identify animals in field research,[167] pet theft and loss, zoological parks (Zulich 1998, p. 1) monitoring endangered species, tracking wild animal numbers (Stonehouse, 1978), breeding programs, quarantine (Scan Journal 1990, p. 4-10), livestock management schemes and industrial husbandry systems (Geers et al. 1997, p. xiv). Thus far most commonly implanted animals include the common household pets (dogs, cats and birds),[168] common livestock (cows, sheep and pigs), animals used for experimental research[169] (mice and monkeys), and pests (rabbits) that need to be continually tracked to control numbers.[170]

The use of tags and transponders in livestock farm management has revolutionised the way farmers work (see exhibit 7.8 on the following page). The farm database has become an integral part of successful farm management practice. While it was once difficult for the farmer to monitor his/her livestock because of the sheer number of animals kept, transponders have made tracking livestock easier. It is not uncommon for farmers to use their computers to:

…follow-up of premiums, milk-record control, tracing back of transit and disease prevention, progeny testing and herdbook administration, electronic feeding stations, automatic gating in group housing facilities, accountability to markets and slaughterhouses, animal health control, public health control, animal welfare surveillance, prevention of fraud, tracing back of stolen stock, facilitating trade, central database facilities (Geers et al. 1997, p. 39).

Allflex (Cumbria, United Kingdom), together with Oxley Systems (Grange over Sands, United Kingdom) are just two companies that have been promoting RF/ID tags as a management tool for agribusiness co-use. The farmer has the ability to centralise all his operations whether it be in the prevention of disease in herds, feed-control[171] or in meeting production goals.[172]  Regulations  have also meant the mandatory identification of animals, especially in Europe, has acted to increase the adoption of RF/ID transponders.[173] The 1992 EU Council Directive 92/102/EC stated: “[a]nimals for intra-Union trade must be identified in accordance with the requirements of the Community rules and be registered in such a way that the original or transit holding, centre or organisation can be traced” (quoted in Geers 1996, p. 29f). One of the earliest animal tracking major trials in Europe,[174] was known as IDEA (Identification Electronique des Animaux).[175] The trial consists of approximately 500000 cattle from six European countries including France and Germany. In the future, breakthroughs in DNA may allow the tracking of meat even to the kitchen table (Unger 1994). Look (1998, p. 8) also believes that “the full history of every piece of beef will appear on the package label for consumers to read” in the future.

Exhibit 7.8 RF/ID Transponders and Tags used for Livestock Management      Traditional Manual Identification for Animals

Leather or nylon collars with metal tags (upon which contact details can be engraved) are still very popular methods of identification for pets such as dogs and cats.[176] The Veterinary Information Network and Pet Care Forum suggest that the tag includes as much information as possible. The downside of this type of tag is that it can be removed by anybody, be uncomfortable for the pet or be damaged.[177] For farm animals, the Destron Fearing Corporation has introduced the Fearing Duflex brand of ear tags, for visible identification only. The ear tags are made out of polyurethane and can withstand environmental conditions over long periods of time. Hot-stamped numbers on metal tags and ink jet bar code labels can also be produced. Kryo Kinetics Associates, Incorporated specialise in horse identification and offer a number of different solutions other than microchipping. One example of this is freeze marks[178] using the International Angle System, developed by Dr Keith Farrell in Washington University in the 1960s. Every animal is marked with symbols that are protected by international copyright and a matching laminated ID card for each horse is given to the owner. “The marking site, always on the neck, is clipped and cleaned and... the mark is applied with a cold iron, the horse feels little more than pressure”.[179] Ownership brands are another technique but this presupposes that the brand is unique and has passed the registration process with the appropriate authorities. It can turn out to be an expensive practise though, as registrations have to be entered for different states. Like brands, tattoos can also be applied by almost anyone. As opposed to freeze marks, tattoos can be altered, they are often hard to read and there is no single registry[180]. Animals, especially small insects like bees, can also be bar coded (LaMoreaux 1995, pp. 48-49). Kryo also highlights blood typing and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) testing. Two companies that specialise in DNA-based profiles for animals are Therion Corporation and Zoogen Incorporated. The latter was founded by Dr Joy Halverson, a veterinarian. “DNA pawprints” are taken of the animal’s genotype (genetic pattern) and it is digitally analysed by a computer.[181] The method is so accurate that it can virtually identify any dog in the world with a zero error rate.

7.5.2.      Case 10: Human Security and Monitoring

Some employers require their staff to wear RF/ID tags in a visible location for identification purposes and for access control (Kitsz 1990, pp. 3-37). A company’s security policy may stipulate that staff badges be secured onto clothing or employees must wear tags that are woven into their uniforms.[182] Olivetti’s “active badge”[183] was ahead of its time when it was first launched (Pountain 1993, p 58; Want et al. 1992, pp. 91-102). The tag is able to “localise each staff member as he or she moves through the premises... It is possible to automatically re-route telephone calls to the extension nearest an individual” (Puchner 1994, p. 26).[184] Whereas employers want to know who is inside their premises, there are some applications that want to know who has trespassed outside a certain zone. The concept of “electronic jails” for low-risk offenders is starting to be considered more seriously. Sweden and Australia have implemented this concept and there are trials taking place in the U.K., U.S., Netherlands and Canada. Whilst tagging low-risk offenders is not popular in many countries it is far more economical than the conventional jail. Since 1994 in Sweden:

...certain offenders in six districts have opted out of serving time, choosing instead to be tagged by an electronic anklet and follow a strict timetable set by the probation service... about 700 people have taken part in the Swedish scheme, open to people sentenced to two months or less (Goldsmith 1996, p. 32).

Signals are transmitted from the tag of the offender to the host computer several times a minute. All tagged prisoners set off an alarm in a nearby monitoring centre if they deviate from their daily routine.

Numerous applications have been developed to assist individuals who depend on carers for support. This group of persons may consist of newly-born babies, sufferers of mental illness and Alzheimer’s disease, persons with disabilities and the elderly. There are those like Martin Swerdlow, who as a U.K. member of the government’s Foresight Science and Technology Group stated that there would come a time when certain groups in the population would have tags implanted at birth. He believed the idea of a national identity system based on implants was not impossible and highlighted that babies were already electronically tagged at present and nobody was objecting. It is worthwhile then to spend some time looking at a tagging system that prevents babies from being switched at birth or being kidnapped. The South Tyneside Healthcare Trust Trial in the U.K. is an excellent case. Early in 1995, Eagle Tracer installed an electronic tagging system at the hospital using their TIRIS electronic tags and readers from Texas Instruments. Detection aerials were hidden at exit points so that in the event a baby was taken away without authorisation, its identity would be checked and the alarm would be raised immediately.[185] The alarm could potentially lock doors, alert the maternity ward staff and security guards. Automatic-ID News reported:

The TIRIS tags, passive and batteryless transponders, carry a unique security code and are securely attached to even the smallest newborn babies without causing harm or discomfort. The carrier material has been developed in such a way as to prevent the removal by anyone other than a specialist...[186]

The trial was so successful that the hospital was considering expanding the system to include the children’s ward. The clinical director of obstetrics and gynaecology told Automatic-ID News that, “[t]he system ha[d] been very enthusiastically received by the midwives as well as the mums.”  Recently Olivetti has also marketed its ‘tot tracker’ product which works by placing a tag on your child or in his/her backpack to allow for global tracking via a global positioning system (GPS) (High Tech 1998, p. 1).

The idea of placing transponders in the human body or implanting microchips in selected body parts like the hand or head are not new. The study of medicine is always pushing technological developments to new frontiers.[187] As Geer writes implantable devices such as pacemakers have been used in humans with heart conditions for years.[188] Once thought radical the device is now commonplace. Scientists have been conducting experiments involving microchips and humans for decades. It is through such research that scientists hope to discover ways to combat blindness,[189] deafness and other disabilities. Recent examples of these types of studies include the nerve chip research at Stanford University by doctors Kovacs, Hentz and Rosen[190] and the silicon retinal implant research by Edell, Rizzo, Raffel and Wyatt.[191] A whole section will be dedicated on new transponder-based medical applications in chapter eight. It is now public knowledge that there is a concerted effort to fuse the flesh with technology (Davies 1994). Initially a medical solution, transponder implants are now being considered for emergency services and potentially even a way to reduce fraud. Hewkin was one of the first people to suggest officially, in a respected academic IEE journal, that ‘subminiature read-only tags’ would be injected under human skin using a syringe to reduce problems such as fraud (1989, p. 205). This was probably in response to Dr Daniel Man’s, October 1987 patent regarding a homing device implant designed for humans called ‘Man’s Implanted’. Mechanic (1996, p. 2) reported:

…[t]he human device runs on long-lasting lithium batteries and periodically transmits a signal that would allow authorities to pinpoint a person’s exact location... the batteries... could be replenished twice a year...

Man’s invention has not been marketed because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have yet to approve the device. For this he will require a substantial amount of cash for miniaturisation and regulatory approval (Wells 1998, p. 1). But the inventor has received several inquiries from U.S. government agencies and interested companies. The device is perceived by some as being a future 911 advancement, locating kidnapped children or older persons who may become disoriented, useful for soldier tracking and even criminal tracking.[192] Man believes this human tracking device would be voluntary only and that nobody would be forced to use it if they did not want to for reasons of culture, philosophy[193] or religion.[194]

In 1994 Bertrand Cambou, director of technology for Motorola’s Semiconductor  Products in Phoenix, predicted that by 2004 all persons would have a microchip implanted in their body to monitor and perhaps even control blood pressure, their heart rate, and cholesterol levels. Harrison reported (1994, p. 13) that:

Cambou has been a part of the miniaturization of microprocessors and the development of wireless communication technologies. Both would have central roles in putting computers inside the human body.

When questioned by Harrison about the effects the technology would have in the body Cambou responded (1994, p. 13):

We are not aware of any current obstacles to the encapsulation and implanting of electronic devices within the body, and the transmission characteristics [of radio frequencies] through the body are well known.


In 1998, Professor Kevin Warwick[195] of the University of Reading became the first official person to embed a silicon transponder (23 by 3 millimetre) into his body (arm). The manufacturer of the chip remained anonymous. The surgical procedure only took ten minutes while he was under a local anaesthetic (Sanchez-Klein 1998, p. 1). The ten-day trial was confined to the boundaries of his university department. Sensors around the department were triggered every time Professor Warwick was in range of a reader See exhibit 7.9 on the following page, where Warwick is shown holding the transponder in his fingertips and a map of the ground floor of the Cybernetics department with his location information. The chip was limited to acting as a location device but its potential is left to a visionary’s discretion. Professor Warwick reported to Newsbytes (Dennis 1998, p. 2):

In five years’ time, we will be able to do chips with all sorts of information on them. They could be used for money transfers, medical records, passports, driving licenses, and loyalty cards. And if they are implanted they are impossible to steal. The potential is enormous.

In a CNN interview with Sanchez-Klein (1998, p. 2) Warwick added:

I’m feeling more at one with the computer. It’s as though part of me is missing when I’m not in the building... In my house, I have to open doors and turn on lights. I don’t feel lonely, but I don’t feel complete.


Warwick believes the ultimate goal of the transponder technology is to connect humans more closely with computers and perhaps have a direct connection from the brain to the computer. He told CNN that it was an excellent device to track employees while they were at work, prevent mass murders my keeping track of gun owners and tagging paedophiles to keep them away from schools or child centres.[196] However, it should be noted that Warwick is aware of the big brother issues, negative and sinister side of the technology. Chapter eight will continue to explore future innovations in light of such auto-ID application scenarios.

Exhibit 7.9 RF/ID Tags and Transponders used in Human Tracking Applications      The Importance of the ID Number

Common technologies that are used for human monitoring as opposed primarily to human security include bar code,[197] magnetic-stripe, smart cards[198] and biometrics.[199] Card technologies have been traditionally linked to an ID number (normally 8-15 alphanumeric characters in length); the type of card technology employed is a secondary matter.[200] In the example of government schemes such as social security, taxation and health care a fair amount of off-line monitoring occurs to ensure that citizens are actually being taxed accordingly and receiving the right amount of social benefits. An interesting pattern emerges when one studies the person number (PN) systems of countries in the world (Lunde et al. ed. 1980, pp. 39-47). They were either developed during WWII or after 1970. The former were created for the purpose of census registers; the latter mainly for the computerisation of citizen records. Thus one will find that only the ID numbers instituted after 1970 are truly unique (based on database principles such as a primary key), the other numbers are composed of date of birth, sex and place of birth, with sometimes zero or only one or two check digits. Enter the urgent need for a more sophisticated way of monitoring human activity and governments around the world have done one of two things; either they have issued new ID numbers to all citizens and implemented smart card schemes, or they have kept existing ID numbers and implemented an integrated system- smart cards for transactions and biometrics to verify the cardholder’s identification. Still there are many government schemes around the world that have more than one citizen when exactly the same ID number.

The prospect of human monitoring entering a new level altogether has been made possible by numerous developments in telecommunications. High-usage users of mobile telephones (GSM standard) can be pinpointed to the coverage area of the mobile base station (BS) that was used to connect their telephone call. Network triangulation can pinpoint an individual’s location to about 200m in accuracy.[201] Piece this information together over a period of time and someone could know an awful lot about your movements. Whether somebody cares to do this or not is perhaps not the issue, the information is still available. In the not-to-distant future however GPS devices[202] will become so small and affordable that monitoring and tracking of humans in real-time[203] would be feasible (Werb 1999, p. 52). GPS was developed by the U.S. military[204] and has both defence and commercial application. If one is to contemplate the unlimited commercial union between GPS and auto-ID systems, a myriad of location-based applications[205] could be born-[206] GPS systems for cars[207] that would enable manual street directories to become obsolete and track car thieves[208] as they make their escape; track children so that in the case they are kidnapped police know their exact whereabouts; track mentally ill patients who may become lost; monitor criminals who are released and have a long record of crime (Pottorf 1998). The GIS (geographic information system) makes the visual real-time tracking of people and objects possible.[209] Distributed systems could display the movement at various levels of details on a map.[210] Large ships and large trucking companies already use this type of technology.[211]


7.6.   Conclusion

This chapter sought to satisfy objective four (section 1.3.1) which was to conduct a qualitative investigation of ten broad electronic commerce application areas by focusing on five of the most prominent auto-ID technologies. One of the major contributions of this chapter is in its comprehensive sourcing of both service and technology providers as they work together toward a common goal- the successful implementation of auto-ID applications. The study differed from other auto-ID application investigations in its scope and detail, and also in its intent to show that the selection environment for auto-ID technologies is quite diverse. The main finding was that there are numerous auto-ID technologies that can serve the same or similar applications but each with its particular advantages and disadvantages. In short, there is no perfect solution. While some technologies are admittedly dominant in a given vertical sector, alternative technologies can equally be used to satisfy the needs of the service provider, it all depends on the individual requirements. Often it is this interaction between the service and technology providers that enables further technology development to come into fruition, as was highlighted through some of the more innovative solutions in RF/ID (section 7.5) especially. The need for customisation is not necessarily about making a technology “better” but evolving it to be suitable for a given problem.

The diverse number of international applications studied in this chapter suggest first, that auto-ID is becoming increasingly pervasive and second that decisions about “which auto-ID technology” to use in a given scenario is based on a case-by-case situation. The case studies have proven that auto-ID technologies are set to coexist as many of the integrated solutions indicate, and more than this, some devices are even set to converge. In this manner the technologies share in the same natural trajectory. Their destinies are intertwined. Auto-ID is now an ensemble of techniques, technologies and devices within the same industry. The following chapter will explore this idea of trajectory a little further and offer possible paths forward for auto-ID. It is hoped that emerging patterns from the cases reviewed above can be used to support the long-term vision of the technology. Further findings from this chapter will be presented in chapter nine.



[1] For an extensive list of current uses of bar codes and a diverse range of case studies see LaMoreaux (1995, pp. 10-11; 22-50), Palmer (1995, pp. 225-239) and Grieco et al. (1989, pp. 135-168). See also Collins and Whipple (1994, pp. 187-251) who cover bar code solutions for inventory control systems, retail, and tracking.

[2] The first symbology to be widely adopted was the UPC. However, European interest in the UPC led to the adoption of the EAN symbology in 1976. Today there exist several different versions of UPC and EAN, each with its own characteristics.

[3] See (1999) for bar code case studies related to tracking non-living things including mail, courier packages, art pieces and recycle parts. It should be noted that Hand Held’s products use RF principles to read bar codes. Likewise see at (1998) and Symbol Technologies at (1999).

[4] See Collins and Whipple (1994, pp. 292-302) and Oxley (1991, pp. 5/1-5/3). For EDI using 2D bar code see Johnston and Yap (1998, pp. 83-91). For a case study on NCR’s use of EDI and bar code for JIT inventory management see Kerr (1997).

[5] In 1994, Cohen believed that bar code had the highest accuracy amongst auto-ID technologies. “In this respect, bar code technology is seen today as the most reliable of all auto-ID technologies, that is, the one with the lowest substitution error rate” (J. Cohen 1994, p. 63). This statement has to be taken in context.

[6] For years Federal Express relied on the bar coded number on the Air Bill to get packages to their destination (Derbort 1988, pp. 215-218).

[7] See (2002) and (2002).

[8] “Quick Response [is] an overall business concept designed to reduce the time to move from raw material to the point of sale, to reduce inefficiencies and to shrink the amount of inventory in the pipeline...” (McInerney 1998, p. 32).

[9] EAN 128 bar codes that encode the type of garment, size, and colour are used to label the garment which is then scanned in using TecnoLogistica software to allocate a putaway spot in the warehouse. However, when it comes time for order assembly, instructions are given to fork-lift operators via RF directly onto their Janus 2020 terminals using the 2.4 GHz frequency spectrum. The TecnoLogistica system verifies the picked item in about one second and these items are packed thereafter. Data is sent via eight RF access points which communicate with the host via fibre optic cable.

[10] For another case study on how Toyota uses bar codes to cut waste from their supply chain see ADC News and Solutions, (12/01/98). For the use of RF/ID transponders in automated assembly systems see Styles (1990, pp. 117-121).

[11] For the interim however, the bar code system business case is almost always more viable than that of RF/ID. For considering the RF/ID versus bar codes debate from a financial perspective see (1998) and LaMoreaux (1995, ch. 9). See also Shoemaker (1996, pp. 41-42) who considers the competitive nature between the two technologies.

[12] See also Savarnejad (1996, p. 50) who reviews PolyTracker MLS (Multiple Locator Systems), a system that uses chips in trolley wheels to stop thieves in their tracks.

[13] Press release 23 from Transponder News (2002) confirms that: “[t]he group comprises [of] prospective licensees, VARs, service and component providers, potential users and just interested parties. Membership of the group is free and information is passed between parties via a restricted area on an Internet Web site.”

[14] Kroger’s supermarket in Louisville started trialling the U-Scan Express system in 1997. The trials were reportedly so successful that the company is considering rolling out the PSC and Optimal Robotics technology to more stores.

[15] In this instance customers approach an aisle passage that has a restricted exit. Upon scanning all their goods the customer would then make an EFTPOS transaction to pay for the items purchased and receive a receipt. Upon EFTPOS authorisation, the trolley is allowed to go through and a secure EAS system is used to assure the retailer that nothing has been accidentally left unpaid or deliberately stolen. If such a system was to be introduced widely, the impact on workers and customers would be huge; the former from a mass reduction in staffing requirements and the latter from a shift in responsibility at the check-out. See also (1998). Yet it is also currently possible for consumers not even to have to visit a supermarket but transmit their requirements from home (Abass 1996; and LaPlante 1999). While Internet grocery shopping can be a little tedious, Hutchison (2000) shows how the Grocer e-Scan portable handheld bar code scanner device could save customers time and trouble. Grayson (1998) reviews an all-in-one bar code scanner, microwave, and television, developed by NCR’s Knowledge Labs. One can use the microwave to cook, conveniently watch television while preparing food and after dinner use the bar code scanner to order new grocery items.

[16] “The all-campus card- now finding its way onto an increasing number of college campuses- can provide access to everything from elevators, doors and garages, to vending machines, library books, and clothing at the campus store” (Facilities Design 1997, p. 20). See Thompson (1996, pp. 40-44), Yang (1999, pp. 465-468) and Elliot (1999).

[17] Typically campus cards at schools and universities operate in a closed systems environment. That is, they are only useful within the bounds of the campus of a single institution.

[18] While there has been some criticism of the school for introducing an electronic monitoring system, many other schools have planned to trial or install such a system. The card also helps to know where students are when they have free periods during the day. Although obviously these types of systems are not full-proof given students could swipe cards for one another secretly. The Old Dominion University (ODU) also trialled such a system (Walzer 1996) to ensure attendance at big lectures in a bid to reduce the failure rate of first year students who are under the misconception that they can get through a course without attending the majority of classes. Alamo Community College District (ACCD) will also be monitoring student interactions using bar code ID cards (Madaras 1993). See Tipton (1998).

[19] The University of Wollongong campus card also comes equipped with a photograph which acts as proof of identity, particularly useful during examinations when hundreds of students are present in large halls. The magnetic strip on the card is predominantly for access to computer laboratories (Carroll 1994, p. 8). The image of each student is stored in a database for the instance that a card needs to be replaced.

[20] See (1999). Peter Honeyman of CITI at the University of Michigan believes that “…smart cards hold the potential to simplify [the] environment by eliminating cash-handling and paperwork problems while at the same time improving security” in the university community. See also O’Sullivan (1997, pp. 57-62) who described lead education applications already in operation in France.

[21] See (1999). “While it is primarily used as a photo ID, the M-Card may also be used for banking purposes, making small purchases from participating merchants, library services, and secure entrances to buildings.” For a broader discussion on the topic of smart cards and education see Smith and Cunningham (1997, ch. 14). The M-Card went beyond a closed campus system implementation.

[22] Gemplus has a large piece of the education market. The company’s cards are also used at the University Jannus Pannonius, the University of Medicine of Pécs and the University of Aix-Marseille (France) to name a few.

[23] More recently an ID card for school children was launched in Australia supported by the Victorian government. The card contains personal information and emergency contact details. See (2001).

[24] Debit cards give the cardholder access to their savings and cheque account balance, whereas credit cards give the cardholder access to a pre-established line of credit.

[25] For a variety of definitions on the term ‘cashless society’, see Hendrickson (1972), Reistad (1979), Bequai (1980), Australian (1981), Bowne (1984), Dean (1984), Lasky (1984), Weinstein (1984), ASTEC (1986), Keir (1986, 1987), Pope (1990), Brooks (1995), Helm (1995), Federal Bureau of Consumer Affairs (1995), Financial (1995), MasterCard International (1995), Tyler (1995), VISA International (1995), Woods (1995), Allard (1995; 1997), Muhammad (1996), Manchester (1997), Vartanian (1997), Computergram (1999).

[26] For instance, between 1990 and 1994 the number of EFTPOS transactions worldwide increased from 61 million to 245 million (Federal Bureau of Consumer Affairs 1995, p. 6). In the same period EFTPOS terminals grew annually at a rate of 38 per cent as compared to ATM terminals which only experienced an annual growth of 4 per cent. The trends as identified by Tren (1995, p. 42) can be attributed to the early adoption of ATMs by North America, Canada and Japan versus the adoption of EFTPOS by European countries to handle multi-currency payments.

[27] For a fascinating study on what consumers actually store in their wallet and the shifting uses for wallets over time see L. Cooper (1999, pp. 87-93). Financial objects in wallets include: receipts, money (cash and coins), loyalty cards, debit cards, bank cards, credit cards, charge (smart cards) and cheques. Non-financial objects include: membership cards, business cards, drivers license, telephone numbers, ID cards, postage stamps, lottery tickets, coupons, photographs, national insurance card, medical prescriptions, train tickets and a calendar.

[28] It is not unusual to be held up in a shopping queue while someone is shuffling through their collection of magnetic-stripe cards searching for the right one to make their transaction.

[29] See McConnachie (1999, pp. 248-250).

[30] See (1999).

[31] Prior to magnetic-stripe cards, consumers depended upon the services of an intermediary at the counter but now the consumer is able to perform operations that were previously conducted by a bank clerk (OECD 1989, p. vi).

[32] International credit card corporations like American Express (AMEX), Bank Americard, Cartasi and Diners Club which are offering credit-based financial services are still using magnetic-stripe cards with embossed writing and signature though they have signalled their intention to migrate cards over time.

[33] “Dutch banks are poised to become the first in the world to introduce computer smart cards on a nationwide scale this year, eventually giving 15 million people the possibility of living without cash” (van Grinsven 1996, p. 32). The Dutch have followed the example of the French.

[34] It is the information centralisation to one unique ID per person that consumers find uncomfortable. Some banks have already issued multiple application cards but consumers still fear security breaches.

[35] For a view of the shifting competitive environment in financial services see Braco (1998, p. 113). An interesting discussion on disintermediation is given by Essinger (1999, ch. 5).

[36] See Insight Corporation (1998), ‘Beyond payphones: vending, low-value transactions and the information age 1998-2003’.

[37] The next step for Danmønt is to introduce more sophisticated SVCs that can be used for bigger transactions that require more security. Danmønt’s strategy is to heighten consumer awareness and acceptance before the next phase of development that will involve Visa. See also (1998), (Kaplan 1996, pp. 150-152; Ferrari 1998, pp. 196-197).

[38] See (1998).

[39] Mondex is also designed to leave an ‘untraceable’ audit trail. Since its inception in 1993, Mondex International (now a subsidiary of MasterCard International), has rapidly begun to roll-out trials all over the world. Mondex is being marketed as convenient for consumers and merchants. Some of its differentiators from ATM magnetic-stripe cards include: access to electronic money via public or private telephones, its ability to carry up to 5 currencies, an electronic wallet which allows card-to-card transactions, lock-code functions and instant statements. See also (Godin 1995, pp. 84-98; Kaplan 1996, pp. 152-158; Ferrari 1998, pp. 199-200).

[40] Mondex International has been hailed as the “evangelist” of the smart card world (Mitchell 1996b, p. 52). More recently Mastercard International has reached an agreement to assume full ownership of Mondex International (Mei 2001, p. 10).

[41] See Townend (1996) and Read (1989, pp. 263-270). Both authors report on the development of card technology pertaining to the financial sector.

[42] However, Mondex officials are still cautious about predicting the demise of cash completely. “They see digital money as an alternative to cash, another option among many options for consumers. Mondex has estimated that e-cash will carve out 30 percent of the payments market” (Godin 1995, p. 97). See also Muhammad (1997) on the future of money.

[43] Other companies which are making their mark in the digital cash arena include: CyberCash, First Virtual, Michigan National, BankOne, CheckFree, CommerceNet, NetCash, Smart Cash, Telequip and NetMarket. These companies have developed solutions for purchasing goods and services over the Internet and conducting money transfers using electronic cash (see Brands 1995; Godin 1995; and Essinger 1999, ch. 10). Other well-known solutions include the Proton cash card, (1999) from Banksys in Belgium that is closely linked to American Express, and the Visa Cash card which is being tested by Visa International. Other schemes worth noting, which are trialling types of electronic purses include: Transcard, Quicklink & MasterCard (Australia), BalkanCard (Bulgaria), EltCard (Estonia), Avant (Finland), SEPT (France), Chip Knip (Holland), Eximsmart (Indonesia), LINK (Lebanon), Interpay (Netherlands), Bankaxept (Norway), SIBS (Portugal), NETS & CashCard (Singapore), UEPS (South Africa), SEMP (Spain), POSTCARD (Switzerland), FISC (Taiwan), VISA SVC (USA). This signifies a truly global reach. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems and Internet banking solutions are especially propelling the idea of a cashless society forward. See Elliot and Loebbecke (1998) for Australian e-cash examples. One of the first traditional banks to incorporate Internet banking services was Advanced Bank (Graham 1996, p. 4).

[44] Diebold Incorporated have developed a multimodal biometric system for making transactions that incorporates both face and voice recognition. Using face recognition software by Visionics and voice-verification from Keyware Technologies, the face and voice must match an image and voice sample in a database for a customer to make a transaction (Belsie 1997, p. 1; Gold 1999b). Even as far back as 1992 an Australian company, Bio Recognition, developed FingerScan for ATM transactions (Gora 1992, p. 3). See also Wahab et al. (1999) and Essick (1998) for a biometrics electronic purse.

[45] One of the earliest references to a type of auto-ID device that would herald in a cashless society was recorded in The New Westralian Banker, an official publication of the Australian Bank Employees Union. The article (Devereux 1984, p. 5) was titled “1984 IS HERE!” and highlights a new system that supposedly does not require a bankcard or credit card or cheque or cash. “This is the crux of an experiment begun in Sweden starting March, 1983. 6,000 people have agreed to take part in this experiment. Each person involved has received a special mark (shot on to the relevant area with a special, painless ray gun) and is now marked for life (it doesn’t come off.) The mark is registered in a computer and will register in banks or wherever those marked decide to shop. The shopkeeper simply runs an electronic pen over the mark and it instantly sends that person’s number to a computer centre from where all information of their transactions is sent to their bank. No money needs to be touched.” The technology depicted suggests that some kind of human bar code trial occurred in Sweden. The technology did exist in 1984 to run this trial; however I have not been able to verify the authenticity of the content of the article. Whether Devereux had a wry sense of humour or the article content is true, still makes one wonder where the technology could be headed.

[46] For a more detailed investigation into how smart cards are used in transport, i.e. taxis, trains, air travel, road tolling, parking, see Hendry (1997, ch. 14).

[47] The process is as follows: “[t]ickets are dispensed by machines in stations that accept coins and bills. Ticket value is recorded on the mag stripe. When a rider enters the system the turnstile read-write unit records the place and time of entry. Upon exit, the turnstile computes and subtracts the price of the trip based on length of trip, and in some systems, the time of day” (Holmstrom 1996, p. 1).

[48] The short-comings of the ticket include that they are disposable (i.e. paper waste) and the ability to check whether an individual has purchased the right trip for their destination requires human intervention.

[49] If a traveller has luggage to check-in bar code labels are attached to the bags so that they can be read later and routed to the correct destination (LaMoreaux 1995, pp. 12-14).

[50] As Wesley (MasterCard International) and Wilke (Mobil Oil Credit Corporation) wrote (1997, p. 200): “[p]lastic cards, some with magnetic stripes, also have become one of the mainstays for the traveller. Most of the airlines, hotels, and car rental companies issue plastic loyalty cards in various colours denoting the customer’s usage. These cards merely carry a unique customer number often embossed on the card, but sometimes also store encoded information on a magnetic stripe. These plastic cards facilitate, to a limited extent, loyalty programs with travel partners within the industry. For example, an airline may award frequent flyer points for staying at a travel partner hotel. These loyalty programs generally facilitate point accumulation.”

[51] It was one of the first companies to offer such a service but it found it very difficult to continue in the short-term as projected card targets were continually not met. The card was initially misunderstood by observers as a type of credit card but David Huemer (the CEO at the time) clearly stated that the service the card provided was the purchase of business travel for the frequent traveller. By 1988 Airplus was forced to change its strategy. The company restructured and successfully entered into the co-brand market directly featured on a host of Airplus-linked family cards like Austrian Airlines.

[52] Cross (1996, pp. 30-34) discusses how intelligent shoppers can benefit from loyalty programs. See the agreement between Mondex and for loyalty points (D. Jones 2000c). Another example is the Australian loyalty card program called Ezy Rewards offers points for shopping at Woolworths, banking with the Commonwealth Bank, flying with Qantas, visiting particular entertainment venues and booking particular holiday packages.

[53] Since the Schengen Treaty, Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport has introduced a 100 million guilder smart card system for members of eight other European states that have agreed to scrap identity checks. “The plastic cards… allow for free movement for travellers through a special gate without having to show passports or ID cards… there are no photographs of travellers, passport numbers or any other safeguards in the card’s microchip… The treaty will provide free passage of citizens through France, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Luxemburg, Italy and Greece” (European 1993, p. 3). More recently Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport upgraded its CCTV (closed circuit television) system with facial recognition technology to guard against terrorism, since its inception into the European Schengen Agreement (Lockie 2001b).

[54] See the Octopus Card (Kwok 2001, p. A4) used to collect payment for taxi fares and other transport services (Wallis 2001, p. B5). Consumers are charged a small levy for using the card to offset overall costs. This is how Creative Star as the service provider makes money and how merchants can recover their costs for buying specialised readers (Chan 2001, p. 6).

[55] See also Greenfield (1996, p. 20) on plans for London’s public transport system to become the most technologically advanced in the world. These efforts were hampered however by the last minute withdrawal of three key members of the Consortium. See also Linton (1997, pp. 6/1-6/5).

[56] German Autobahns used the chip-ticket system from about the mid-1990s (Wenter 1994, pp. 50-54). The Tapei City government implemented a Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) system using contactless smart cards for payment on buses, the subway and a number of car parks. See Philips’ MIFARE smart card platform at (1998). See also Haendler and McDaniel (1993, pp. 31-35).

[57] For the advantages and disadvantages of smart card fare collection media see Okine & Shen (1995, pp. 524-525). See also Newsbytes (1999) regarding Singapore’s smart transportation network and Computergram (1999). Zlatinov (2001, pp. 35-36) reports on the next generation of transit cards.

[58] Sydneysiders in Australia presently have a problem with dissimilar e-tags. Drivers that use multiple motorways (e.g. M2 and M4) will have to almost certainly use several e-tags. This situation indicates the importance of a uniform city strategy (Sun 2002, p. 25).

[59] The RF/ID system even has the capability to charge drivers according to the route they have taken, to ensure a smooth flow of traffic (Kristoffy 1999). Drivers who do not wish to pay higher levies may use non-direct routes which take longer to get them to their destination. For an overview of RF/ID toll applications see Gerdeman (1995, ch. XI).

[60] Recently it was announced that a smart card allowing unlimited access to all public transport in Athens would be available for the 2004 Olympic Games.

[61] In understanding the flow of traffic, new bus routes could be setup to encourage people to take public transport instead of their own car. The terms ‘smart city’, ‘smart vehicles’, ‘smart roads’ are beginning to surface in transport and telematics. Gerdeman (1995, ch. XII) refers to this type of RF/ID application as an Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems (IVHS). Choi et al. (1995) discuss a real-time moving automotive vehicle identification system (AVIS) that uses bar codes at toll gates to measure city traffic. See also C. Stewart (1999b) on driver information systems, Wright (1999) on the Leicester Environmental Road Tolling Scheme (LERTS), Blythe (1991, pp. 130-134) and Harmelink (1993, pp. 645-651) on an IVHS case study on smart trucking.

[62] A system that could be adapted to suit the Athens requirements is the ConfiPass system developed by TagMaster AB for electronic access in parking lots and garages. The system would require every car in Athens to be fitted with a tag in a holder installed near the windscreen. Readers would then be installed at entry and exit points in the city. The system which stores all the necessary information about each vehicle either accepts or rejects the vehicle based on predefined settings such as time limits, day of the week, parking spaces available. Fines would apply for vehicles not complying with local regulations.

[63] In 1998, Texas Instruments claimed to have over 30 million TIRIS transponders in use globally.

[64] See (1997).

[65] Before the demise of Australia’s second largest airline, Ansett, “E-check in” was possible for travellers going interstate. A traveller was required to use his/her credit card at a check-in kiosk at the airport and a boarding pass would be provided after the consumer entered their itinerary details. Flight times, seat changes and baggage check-in were all automated through this process.

[66] The results of the Smart Card Subcommittee were IATA resolution 791 and ATA resolution 20.204- ‘Specifications for Airline Industry Integrated Circuit Cards (ICC)’. The resolution made effective in 1997, means that cards are interoperable at gates which have upgraded their read/write hardware. It is expected that most of the airline cards will be co-branded cards. Credit card companies like Visa, MasterCard and American Express showed immediate interest. For a list of airlines that provide an e-ticket services see the IATA web site (1999).

[67] See Economist (1995) for the notion of “ticketless” air travel using smart card media. It should be noted that articles written before the recent spate of terrorist attacks are a little naïve in terms of how air travel can be made more convenient without the traveller having to go through so many individual checkpoints to board a plane. It is quite incredible to consider how much things have changed since the turn of the century especially, and how the topic of security is now a focal point throughout the globe. Compare Economist (1995) with Watson (2001b) who writes: “September’s attacks added a new dimension to airline security.”

[68] See Cerino (2000, pp. 131-133) for RF/ID applied to aviation.

[69] According to Finkenzeller (1999, pp. 237-238), the Lufthansa card was a contactless smart card, i.e., based on RF/ID principles.

[70] After the recent mass-scale terrorist attacks, some of which involved the hi-jacking of a number of aeroplanes, biometrics has been deemed the next major auto-ID device to be used for not only travellers but airport personnel in general.

[71] See also the Travel Card project that incorporates a wireless PDA (Zimmerman et al. 2001, pp. 1124-1228). “The goal of the Travel Card project is to increase check-in convenience by eliminating lines, without sacrificing security or courteous assistance when required. The Travel Card is a “pocket kiosk” that provides passengers access to the airline’s computer through a simple PDA interface.” With all the problems facing airports and airlines, including the latest SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus, it is difficult to see such a system as proposed by Zimmerman to be implemented in the near future.

[72] See Hamann (1997) who discusses the application revolution that chip cards have enabled.

[73] Bajak (1996, p. 35) reported that the migration from magnetic-stripe to smart card cut fraud losses by seventy per cent in France. However Bajak also noted that hackers in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands have been able to counterfeit even smart cards with relative ease.

[74] The UK also announced a similar CityCard project in 1998.

[75] The main motivators for smart cards in health care from the patient, service provider and payer perspectives can be found in Brainerd and Tarbox (1997, p. 155).

[76] In some countries like Germany, the health care smart card has been implemented successfully but for the greater part controversy surrounds privacy aspects of the card. There is a fear that if health data is stored centrally then it may be at risk of being misused by independent entities. Errors in patient records can also be damaging to an individual if they go unnoticed.

[77] It is envisaged that in the future, a patient will be able to visit his/her doctor, receive a diagnosis from the doctor and store this information on the smart card. If the patient requires drugs, prescriptions could be made electronically to ensure non-conflicting medications were given. Visits to specialists and test results could also be stored on the card.

[78] The Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system in Singapore, officially launched in March of 1998, collects two forms of road revenue: using a particular stretch of road and for entering the CBD (Central Business District) during designated busy hour traffic periods. Inserted in the reader of each vehicle is a Cash Card which is debited each time the vehicle crosses an ERP area. Parking is yet another application for smart cards used for charging drivers for the time they occupy a space and/or given access to a car park.

[79] Figures released by Datamonitor indicated that in 1996 around 66 countries had adopted smart card payphones and smart cards for payphones accounted for approximately 75% of all smart cards sold globally. See also Lutz (1997, p. 131) for a graph on the number of countries operating smart card payphones between 1986 and 1996.

[80] If the smart card infrastructure in payphones is ready to be used, it is only a matter of additional software to be written for other applications such as banking. Imagine using a payphone that could act as an ATM. For a thorough discussion on ‘banking on the telephone’ see Essinger (1999, ch. 8).

[81] The SIM is the mechanism that allows a subscriber to connect to the network and is essentially a smart card made to ISO specifications. For personalisation of GSM telephones see Moorhead (1994).

[82] Security algorithms decode the signal via a set-top box. See smart cards exclusive advantages in pay-TV (Monnin 1992, pp. 418-421).

[83] See Woodside and Jones (1990, pp. 144-148) and Simpson (1996, pp. 3/1-3/4).

[84] The future for broadband services is looking bright as IP-centric networks are being built to cater for tomorrow’s bandwidth-driven applications. For this reason the 1990s has seen traditional telecommunications companies form alliances or even merge with CATV companies, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Web software businesses and media corporations in a bid to share their risks and make sure they are not left out of the race. All these applications will require smart cards for subscriber access authorisation with capabilities to bill customers for services used and information content downloaded. For telephony and telecommunications applications see especially Lutz (1997, ch. 8) and Hendry (1997, ch. 11). For case studies on home telematics in Europe see Jouet (1991) and Rijn et al. (1988).

[85] Gemplus is the leading maker of smart phonecards with 40 per cent of the market share. It supplies smart cards to 50 national telephone operators in about 50 countries worldwide. Gemplus sold 120 millions smart cards in 1994 alone.

[86] US WEST decided to install a further 16,000 Millennium advance payphones in five metropolitan areas: Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, Portland and Minneapolis. Selisker (1996, pp. 2f) describes how the Telecard smart card was used. “When you insert the card (values of $1 $5, $10, or $20) into the payphone’s card reader, the fluorescent display tells how much money is left on the card. If you want to make a long distance call just dial 1 + area code + number. The terminal contacts the Millennium Manager to obtain the rates for the first three minutes and each additional minute and displays it for you. Based on the value remaining on the card and the cost of the call, the display timer shows the time left before the call will end or another card must be entered to continue. The terminal continually decrements value from your card as the call progresses. When you hang up, the display shows the remaining value on the card.”

[87] See the Bell chip card in Québec at (1996).

[88] Nortel was the first to bring smart card capable payphones to North America and they currently have more than 100000 Millennium terminals installed throughout the region.

[89] It was a way for BellSouth to differentiate itself from the other 866 payphone providers in Georgia.

[90] Customers now have the additional ability to ‘reload’ their prepaid cards by transferring funds from their personal accounts. In essence, the intelligent telephone has now become a remote ATM.

[91] See the GemXplore SIM card which is used to store names and number (like a phonebook), enables short message services (SMS) and has other special features.

[92] Global roaming provides the subscriber access worldwide at the operating frequency or technology used in a particular country whether it is GSM, DCS 1800, PCS 1900, DECT, UMTS or satellite systems. However, the handset must be dual-mode capable. Handset dependent technologies include CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access).

[93] SIM cards can be pre-paid or postpaid (Bertolus 1997, p. 5C).

[94] For a thorough discussion of the GSM network as it pertains to the smart card market see Rankl and Effing (1997, pp. 362-368).

[95] See (2002).

[96] See also Michael, K. (2002, pp. 291-294, 296) and Flammia (2000, pp. 82-83).

[97] DoCoMo’s newly marketed c-Mode is also set to challenge the way in which consumers spend money. Using their wireless handset, they will be able to purchase items from vending machines and be billed accordingly on their i-Mode bill. See also Sun-Herald (2002). In Singapore a pilot program is underway to allow consumers to pay for their taxi fare via their mobile phone as well as purchase coke from a vending machine. See Australian (2002) and Hayes (2002). In the Australian market, Vodafone are keen to follow the Japanese example. Telstra is also running trials in Bronte, Sydney: “[c]ashless parking meters activated by mobile phones and smart cards…” (R. Smith 2002, p. 11). See also Nadile (2003).

[98] See WillTech’s smart card wallet that resembles a calculator at (2001).

[99] The vision of a world where every home in more developed countries (MDCs) is connected by fibre or at least Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC), and every customer has access to third generation (3G) applications on the Internet is no longer wildly out of reach (Buckler 2000). See also Marron (2000, p. C1).

[100] The importance of the smart card device cannot be underestimated in these Internet Protocol (IP)-based applications- if you cannot bill a customer then you do not have a commercially viable application. The advent of interactive digital television (iDTV) will also assist to grow the smart card market.

[101] See Telstra press release dated 18th September 1997 and an introduction to the new smart card-enabled payphones at (1998).

[102] The Phonecard experience seems to be a recurring pattern in other countries worldwide. In Pakistan for example, where 100 million people have access to only 2000 payphones in Islamabad and Lahore, competing operators have implemented different auto-ID solutions. In Britain, BT (British Telecom) is replacing their optical card payphones with smart card. Even in the United Arab Emirates, old coin and magnetic-stripe payphone terminals are being replaced with smart-card capable ones (Fromentin & Traisnel 1995, p. 82). It is still difficult to imagine though, that the situation in the U.S. is still “very much in its infancy, with only a few payphones equipped with readers capable of handling credit cards or telephone chargecards. There are signs of change, however, with several operators conducting trials with magnetic stripe cards” (Communications 1995, p. 58). The payphone magnetic-stripe to smart card migration can be very much likened to that of the bankcard magnetic-stripe transition to smart card. Similar successes and failures have been experienced.

[103] See WEDI Steering Committee (1993) for an extensive paper on unique identifiers specifically for the health care industry.

[104] In the U.S. several attempts have been made to introduce a health care card, especially by the Clinton administration but these have failed; the same as in the Australian case. See Hausen and Bruening (1994, pp. 24-32) on U.S. health care and card technologies.

[105] Other projects that have been piloted in France include the Biocarte system and the Transvie card.

[106] See Schaefer (1997).

[107] See Kaplan (1996, pp. 158-161) for more information on the mandated German card. Kaplan describes the advantages to patients, insurers and health care providers noting that there are privacy risks associated with the scheme. Also, Hendry (1197, ch. 13) discusses medical records, prescriptions and patient monitoring and Gogou et al. (2000, pp. 559-561) a smart card network for health services.

[108] Schaefer (1997, p. 1) reported that by October 1994, 63.4 million cards had been distributed to insured persons and about 135,000 readers had been installed at medical institutions. The card was accepted by about 93 per cent of health insured persons and about 45 per cent of all doctors.

[109] It is envisaged that cross-border national medical sectors in Europe will be integrated in a shared system. One of the functions of the Eurocard will be to reduce health administrative costs. The Diabcard is also making headways in Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain. The Diabcard “...provides the specification for a chip card-based medical information system (CCMIS) for the treatment of patients with chronic diseases” (Schaefer 1997, p. 4).

[110] For Gemplus health care implementations see  (1996). Precise Smart Card Systems, together with Gemplus pioneered the “Medical Emergency Card” which allows for the linking of patients, emergency response personnel, physicians, hospitals and pharmacies in the U.S. (1997).

[111] See (1999).

[112] For an overview of a smart health care service case study see Kaplan (1996, pp. 104-109), especially figures 4-2 and 4-3; and Lindley (1996, pp. 97-111), especially table 4-1 on specific health care applications for a variety of health institutions. McCrindle (1990 ch. 9) provides a generic overview of medical applications with some international examples.

[113] See Davies (1992, ch. 4) especially pp. 52-55.

[114] See Berek (1996, pp. 113-121) controlling fraud and abuse in the U.S. medicare system.

[115] “On each medical visit the patient would present the card to the doctor who would put it into a smart card reader which would automatically warn of any potential conflict between prescribed drugs, or potential over-prescribing. If PBS drugs were prescribed they would be entered and stored on the card. The patient would present the card to the pharmacist, who would prepare the prescription, processing the financial concession at the same time” (Privacy Committee of NSW 1995, p. 32).

[116] For a person in a critical condition who requires urgent medical attention, and who is unconscious, biometric identification in the form of hand or fingerprint scanning could end up preventing further damage or death (Takac 1990, p. 19). Many people have died unnecessarily because of injections they are either allergic to or have received too high a dosage. See Menendez (1999) on why biometrics is useful for health care. According to SJB (1999), new research indicated over 70 live installations of biometrics in health care. See also Kaufman and Woodward (1992, pp. 165-167) for a pioneering medical record system called Plustag-Magic.

[117] RF/ID tags and transponders are being adopted, mainly for the precise identification of new-born babies, mentally-ill patients or those suffering from allergies. While there are many tags or bracelets that do not possess any intelligence (like bar code), RF/ID is a technology that is predicted to change everything from physical access control in hospitals to drug delivery using biochips to treat illnesses like diabetes.

[118] See (1998).

[119] In the U.S., Charlotte/Douglas, Orlando, Reagan, Washington Dulles, Boston Logan and Chicago O’Hare international airports also have biometric systems, all but the former using fingerprints. For detailed information on what INSPASS is and how it works, see Andreotta (1996) and for a brief overview see Bernier (1993). The feature article on immigration and biometrics by Atkins (2001) raises some very important issues. For one of the most in depth case studies on biometric ID see Schulman (2002) on the US/Mexico border crossing card (BCC). The study looks at the differences in personal identification requirements before and after the September 11th attacks and documents some of the changes that have taken place between the US/Mexico border check-point.

[120] BallotMaster is a biometrics-based voting system that ensures one vote per citizen. It was developed jointly by Neurodynamics and Surveys International. The system uses a bar code card for pre-registered voters and takes advantage of fingerprint biometric technology.

[121] One of the pioneers of fingerprint technology was Identicator Technology. Since the early 1970s they have specialised in inkless fingerprint products. Some of Identicator’s commercial partners in 1999 included S.W.I.F.T. and MasterCard. Identicator customers included the National Security Agency (NSA), U.S. Secret Service and the Social Security Administration (SSA). For more information see (1999).

[122] “NAFIS is technically a biometric system, in that it uses physical characteristics (fingerprints) to either establish whether a person has an existing criminal record, or to identify the donor of latent scenes of crime marks, but the scale of the task is incredibly more complex. NAFIS is also a lot more than just another AFIS system, in that it provides complete IT infrastructure in the Police Fingerprint Bureau, with which a great deal of their work is capable of being automated... NAFIS will give all 43 forces of England and Wales access to a central database of fingerprints and unidentified latents... NAFIS will utilise the Police National Network (PNN) communications network on the UK mainland...” (Roethenbaugh 1998, p. 2).

[123] “A major use of biometric-based security systems is not so much designed to keep people out, as to keep them in. Prisons have begun using fingerprint and hand geometry readers to track prisoners. Such systems have also been employed to monitor parolees...” (O’connor 1998, p. 5).

[124] See Whelan (1998, p. 6), ‘Biometrics goes corporate’.

[125] See (1998).

[126] See Recognition Systems biometric product called HandPunch that is very popular with private enterprise at (2001).

[127] See García et al. (2000) and Markowitz (1998).

[128] This is very similar to Telstra’s Australian residential and business directory service capabilities.

[129] See Carey and Auckenthaler (2000, pp. 1093-1096).

[130] The following extract is from the Hewlett-Packard (HP) Los Angeles case study (HP 1995, p. 3). “Using the AFIRM system, a GR applicant places his or her index finger on a live-scan camera which displays the image on a workstation in the district office. The prints are scanned... The image is then analysed by the workstation to ensure acceptable quality and correct positioning. If necessary, the system prompts the clerk to re-attempt image capture. If the image is satisfactory, it is transmitted over a dedicated phone line, along with the demographic data, to the central site where it is compared against all other prints in the database...”

[131] See (1998).

[132] See (1997), Pepe (1996) and Jurado (1996).

[133] “To use the kiosks, citizens will insert their smartcards and then be prompted to place a finger on a fingerprint reader. Once the fingerprint has been verified, citizens will be granted access to the data” (Unisys 1997b, p. 1).

[134] “The cards, which are produced at a number of processing centres located throughout the country, include a Datastrip two-dimensional bar code containing the citizen’s name, photograph, a digital fingerprint and demographic information. An image of the fingerprint also appears on the face of the cards, which are printed on demand during registration. The cards will be used as identification for travel, voting and employment; other applications will be added later” (Automatic I.D. 1998q, p. 20).

[135] “At enrolment demographic details are captured and stored, along with a photograph and signature as well as the templates and images of prints from their two index fingers... Arriving travellers go to the CANPASS immigration lane and insert their card in a terminal for their fingerprints to be verified. The card is automatically checked against a database to ensure that it is valid... Travellers with goods to declare just put the relevant form in a slot and the correct amount of duty is charged to their credit card” (SJB 1996b, p. 1).

[136] Reports of persons who have been able to collect over ten times what they are lawfully owed by declaring several different identities (and postal addresses) have increased. Other reports indicate that persons who have the greatest need for social concessions are not the ones who are necessarily receiving them because of incorrect information that has been supplied about their eligibility to authorities.

[137] For an overview of smart cards in government see Zimmerman, J. R. et al. (1997, ch. 10). Compare this with Chadwick (1999, p. 143): “[s]mart cards are beneficial, but they are not the security panacea that some people believe them to be.” See Davies (1996, pp. 99-100) and the notion of eCitizens in The Globe (2000, p. C5). For a case study on integrating specialist government agencies, including social services, education and health for children with special needs, see Wessels and Dobson (2001, pp. 298-299).

[138] Data-matching has been defined as “the comparison of two or more sets of data to identify similarities and dissimilarities... the term is used to denote the use of computer techniques to compare data found in two or more computer files to identify cases where there is a risk of incorrect payment of personal financial assistance or of tax evasion” (Privacy Commissioner 1990, p. 1). See the Australian Privacy Commission’s data matching guidelines at (1994). In Australia, attempts to implement a Data-Matching Program succeeded, however the introduction of a single card (known as the Australia Card) did not. Instead a tax file number (TFN) has been introduced which serves a similar purpose (Clarke 1991). See Davies (1992, ch. 5) on the computer-matching epidemic and Davies (1996, ch. 5) for a discussion on the TFN.

[139] In England a similar model is presently being implemented (D. Jones 2000d). “The Department of Social Security (DSS) announced details of its new Generalised Matching Service (GMS)... It is hailed as the first system of its kind in Europe and will cross-match data across a number of benefit areas. It could also provide the bedrock for national ID smart cards” (Smith 1995, p. 40). Gold (1996c) estimated that the highly organised fraud racket in the U.K. is costing the government about 2 billion pounds a year.

[140] For a discussion paper on a U.S. national ID smart card scheme incorporating biometrics see Sholtz & Johnson (2002, pp. 9, 564-565) and Michels (2002, pp. 1-8). There would be a requirement to unify multiple state databases and centralise various type of data.

[141] Proposed national ID schemes in other countries like Greece have fuelled much debate since the mid-1990s. In Greece, the preliminary decision to record a person’s religion on the national ID card was not surprisingly met with opposition, particularly by religious minority groups. See (1995).

[142] For a case study on Polaroid and the Philippines national ID scheme see Newsbytes (1998).

[143] “The MultiPurpose Card project is a flagship of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC)… The plastic card will have an embedded chip… that can perform a variety of functions. It will be designed to combine national ID, driver’s license, immigration information, health information, e-cash, debit card and ATM card applications” (Creed 2000, p. 1).

[144] See (1998).

[145] After the September 11th attacks on the U.S., Oracle’s CEO Larry Ellison offered to provide free software for a mandatory national ID smart card which would contain at minimum a photograph and fingerprint (Levy 2001, p. 1). Sun’s CEO Scott McNealy also advocated a national ID (Scholtz & Johnson 2002, p. 564). Both CEOs were interviewed by Michels (2002, pp. 1-8).

[146] For a long list of U.S. government applications using card technologies see U.S. Financial Management Service (1990). This study, though dated now, is a very comprehensive investigation into all the card programs in the U.S. at the federal and state level. Federal applications include: agriculture, commerce, energy, justice, NASA, transportation, treasury and veteran affairs. Defence was a topic that was treated as a special government application. The military takes advantage of numerous types of auto-ID technologies. In Bosnia in 1997 the military provided the most modern logistics system, featuring long-range RF/ID, smart card and bar code working in concert (Seidman 1997, p. 37).

[147] “The application for EXPO’92 season passes was developed on smart cards prepared by the… FNMT, Spanish National Factory of Coins and Stamps... The main concern of… developers was to guarantee that cardholders did not lend (or rent) their cards to other visitors” (Zoreda & Oton 1994, p. 172).

[148] As Zoreda and Oton (1994, p. 173) describe, “[t]he parameters of three signature samples of permitted users were stored in their smart cards. A limited number of attempts was given to the users, the signatures being compared to the average of the three signatures stored in the card. If a successful match was achieved, the parameters of this signature were stored on the card, substituting for the oldest data. Therefore the signature samples are continuously updated, the three most recent ones being stored in the card.”

[149] See (1999).

[150] See Precis PERSONA loyalty cards that help customers to remain faithful at (1998). Also McGuire (1999) on cashless poker machines using smart cards. Michael, K. (2002a, p. 176) discusses loyalty cards and customer relationship management (CRM).

[151] See also Aitken (1990).

[152] Athletes can also attach RF/ID transponders to their shoelaces to ensure fair play and accuracy in times recorded (Finkenzeller 1999, pp. 261-263). Marathon runners also wear placards to the front and rear which usually have bar codes (LaMoreaux 1995, p. 12). See also Texas Instruments’ ChampionChip.

[153] See (1998). Pcash specialise in prepaid debit card systems. The cards are useful for food and drink vending machines providing the consumer with easier and faster access to goods as well as providing a greater return for the vendor. The cards can be used for golf ball dispensing and cashless gaming.

[154] See (1998).

[155] For the use of face recognition-equipped financial services machines suitable for casinos see (1998).

[156] For a wide range of RF/ID applications see the Micron Communications web site at (1999). Micron Communications has the ability to apply RF/ID to a plethora of applications including: retail automated fueling, fleet management, container tracking, access control, laundry automation, beef/cattle tracking and government/ military asset tracking. Its RF/ID products come in a range of tags, badges and transponders. See also (1998) and TIRIS applied to vehicle tracking (Ollivier 1993, pp. pp. 8/1-8/8) and hazardous areas (Hind 1994, pp. 215-227).

[157] See Masters’ undergraduate honours thesis titled, Humancentric Applications of RFID: the current state of development, (2003). The principal conclusion of Masters’ research is that “humancentric applications of RFID are incrementally being built on the foundations of non-humancentric commercial and animal applications. In the current state of humancentric development, stand-alone applications exist for control, convenience and care purposes, but with control being the dominant context” (2003, p. 97). Some of the humancentric applications considered included personal identification, location based services, enforcement, banking, medical and monitoring.

[158] See Raza et al. (1999, pp. 1/2-1/5), Brewin (2003, p. 7), Cox (2003, p. 12), McCullugh (2003), and Yahoo (2003).

[159] For a range of EAS systems developed by Sensormatic see (1999).

[160] There are a variety of ways that gun control can be managed, one is using a transponder embedded in a wristwatch that the owner wears, another is a fingerprint scanner (Kasindorf & Fields 2000, pp. 1, 10A).

[161] For a review of RF/ID applications see Finkenzeller (1999, pp. 263-273); Ollivier (1995, pp. 234-238) and Curtis (1992, pp. 2/1-2/8). For a pictorial representation of RF/ID applications see Gerdeman (1995).

[162] Traditional animal ID techniques “[f]or mammals are: eartagging, ear notching, tattoos, freeze branding, horn branding and the use of natural marks. For identification of birds also leg banding, patagial tags, flipper bands and underwing tattooing have been used. Snakes, lizards and other reptiles often carry individually distinctive scale patterns, which can be photographed or sketched for permanent record” (Geers et al. 1997, p. 70).

[163] See (1997) and (1998). Please note that the Destron Fearing Company was acquired by ADS (2002).

[164] See (1999).

[165] See TIRIS industry solutions at  (1998).

[166] See (1998).

[167] See the desert tortoise research project at (Boarman et al., 1998).

[168] See Lisle (1999).

[169] AVID has patented a transponder technique for research purposes, called Labtrac. See (2002).

[170] See also Zulich (1998) regarding the permanent identification of reptiles and amphibians using Trovan RF/ID transponders.

[171] See the Compident system that takes advantage of TIRIS for intelligent feed control and economical stock keeping at (1998).

[172] The new generation of transponders will be even more powerful with specific sensors to monitor the physiological status of the each animal, “…early warning of diseases, monitoring of oestrus, welfare and all aspects related to integrated quality control” (Geers et al. 1997, p. 39).

[173] In the U.S. in 1996, the FDA’s Centre for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) revised its regulatory policy regarding electronic IDs for animals, stipulating in its definition that electronic identification equated to RF/ID transponders. See (1996). In the CVM Update (17/01/96), the importance of removing the RF/ID transponder in the slaughter process of animals was highlighted and that adequate precautions should be taken for trimmed parts (that may contain the device) not be given to animals as feed. Geers et al. (1997, p. 37) explain the potential problems more precisely with respect to the recovery of the transponders in the slaughter process. “Transponders injected in the head of the animal do not follow the carcass through the slaughterline when the head is cut off... All transponders should be recovered in the slaughterhouse before the carcasses are released for further processing. Recovery procedures should not damage the carcass… and this can be avoided when transponders have been injected properly.” Some have held suspicions that transponders may be linked to BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), although there is no proof to suggest this at the present.

[174] Which, in itself, would address other immediately related concerns. For instance, “[e]ver since the possibility was raised of a link between the cattle disease BSE and a new variant of a similar disorder in humans (Creutzfeld-Jakob disease), the word “traceability” has become a mantra of the meat industry. A statement last year from the European Parliament put it this way: “The necessary security for consumers requires both the identification and registration of bovine animals and labelling of beef... To achieve this, the [European] Commission has outlined a standard format for the national databases to follow. The format includes an alphanumeric code, the first two letters being the alpha-2 country code (as set out in Decision 93/317/EEC), followed by a numeric code of not more than 12 characters, thus making it possible to identify each animal individually...”  (Look 1998, pp. 1-2).

[175] To see how the Shearwell Data company followed the lead of the IDEA trial visit (2001).

[176] The Ventura County Animal Regulation still encourages traditional methods of pet identification to RF/ID implants: “[t]his is a great supplement to identification tags, but it is not a substitute! If someone without an Infopet scanner finds your animal, they will not be able to trace it back to you unless it has current ID tags.” See (2001).

[177] A more innovative idea that has received some attention is the “Lost and Finder Owner Notification System” which makes use of ID tags and a dedicated voicemail box. The Internet has become another medium of communication to post messages about lost pets, however this is fairly inefficient.

[178] Freeze marks are recognised internationally and can be used in a court of law. This technique shows a visible mark rather than the microchipping technique and may be more of a deterrent to thieves.

[179] See (Kryo 1998).

[180] Having said that tattoos have shortcomings the American Pet Association (APA) was still supportive of the manual technique in 1998 considering it to be the “best form of permanent identification… The micro chip implant, although an interesting, high tech idea, is not a pet identification solution… The American Pet Association’s answer… is simple, effective and reliable. All pets registered through the APA’s VIP program are tagged and tattooed with an ID number that begins with the trademarked letters “APA”. It is a simple solution for shelters; if a pet is tattooed with the “APA” letter, they need only to call the APA’s 800 number.” See (1998) and Mieszkowski (2000, part 3, p. 3). Vetinfonet also agree with APA that “…the most reliable form of identification still remains a collar and ID tag”. See (1998). In Australia, Pawprint Pet ID Tags by Silver Roo have also made their debut working on the same principles as the APA VIP program but instead of a numbered tag, Silver Roo manufacture a choice of 12 types of tags.

[181] The company which began in 1989 prides itself on not only being able to identify a dog but offer more information to owners about the parentage and pedigree of the animal, bloodline uniformity etc.

[182] This type of integration of computers into clothing (i.e. unobtrusive wearable computers) is a design philosophy that Steve Mann (1987) has named ‘eudaemonic computing’, after a group of physicists known as the Eudaemons. See also the rugged smart label developed by Gemplus called GemWave Stamp at (1999).

[183] “Recent developments in hardware are allowing us to capture automatically events in our working lives. For example the Olivetti active badge, a small ‘wearable’ device, allows us to record which room of a building we are in. If our colleagues wear badges too, it is possible to record who we were with, and if badges are attached to equipment it is possible to record what equipment we are close to” (Brown 1995, p. 6/1).

[184] See also Martin (1995, pp. 306-309) who describes WatchIt™, a fully supervised identification, location and tracking system using IR/RF (infrared/ radio frequency) principles.

[185] Compare the RF/ID solution with bar codes for babies (Woodford 1993). Mr Trevor Dean, the 1993 chairman of the Bar Code Committee of Standards Australia said “…it was technologically possible for a baby’s bottom to be tattooed with a bar code… One of the most obvious advantages would be to lessen the likelihood of two babies being swapped accidentally at birth.” The response from the Privacy Commission was to liken this proposition to when the Nazis tattooed people. They noted that going down that kind of path would be dangerous. See also,1282,52253,00.html (2002). Weinstein is quoted here as saying: “There will be a short window where the bad guys aren't aware of the technology, but then it will be routine for them to dig around in their victims to see if they're wearing GPS receivers… The overriding issue is do you create a bigger danger to the person than existed in the first place?”

[186] See (1997).

[187] As it has been well described, “[c]ommercially available implantable telemetry devices can have sensors on board for measuring the following physiological variables: temperature, body activity, heart rate, electrocardiogram, electromyogram, electroencephalogram, blood pressure and different biopotentials. The dimensions of these devices are a few cubic centimetres, and have to be implanted under general anaesthesia. In most cases the sensors are wire-connected to the implantable module. The transmission range is dependent on the frequency band selected, and on the available power source. It can vary from a few centimetres to a few kilometres. The operational life time is usually a few months, depending on the battery specifications” (Geers et al. 1997, p. 22).

[188] See especially Banbury (1997) on the pacemaker industry and its evolution and Ryan et al. (1989, pp. 7.6.1-7.6.4). See also the size of a short-term artificial heart made by Thermo Cardio-systems in the U.S. (Stipp 1996, p. 60-62).

[189] “A chip implanted on the optic nerve, for example, could correct defective images or simply transmit entire images to the nerve. The notion of putting computers inside the body may be more realistic than it sounds” (Harrison 1994, p. 13).

[190] See (1997).

[191] See (1997).

[192] See also Daily Mail (1997, p. 13): “[s]cientists are testing a revolutionary watch which can be implanted beneath the skin of the wrist… Researchers believe the same technology could be used to create a range of electronic tags for criminals. It could also be adapted to record… blood pressure.” Other useful resources include: (2002), Streitfeld (2002), (2002), and Murray (2002).

[193] See (2001).

[194] In fact, “the surgeon is taken aback by all this talk of Armageddon and by the conspiracy buffs who say the invention could ultimately be used by the government to monitor its citizens” (Mechanic 1996, p. 5). Man is quoted as saying that he’s only looking at the positive aspects of the implanted device. See also Nortel World (1998, p. 28). In contrast see (2003).

[195] See Warwick (1998; 2002) and (2003). Warwick has published over 300 research papers.

[196] In the fight against the SARS outbreak, countries like Singapore are proposing the electronic tagging of citizens using RF/ID. The tagging is primarily to help stop the spread of the virus and to aid health authorities to locate the root cause of the problem, thus cordoning off infected areas. Logistically it is proving too difficult to track frequent travellers and to gather data manually.

[197] See Hammack, ‘Bracelets and bar codes track jail inmates’ in The Roanoke Times.

[198] Contact smart cards are popular in private enterprise. Access control to factories, business offices, banks, government agencies and other restricted buildings are always connected to central alarm systems in case of a breach in security (Hendry 1997, ch. 15). See also Lynch (1999, p. 3).

[199] See Deister Electronics proxEntry physical control access product range at (1999) and Identix’s fingerprint biometric systems known as TouchView and TouchPrint at (1999). See also Carback (1995, pp. 331-339).

[200] In 1999 Japan began to debate a national ID number scheme, not a national ID card type. Williams (1999) reported: “[a] ten-digit number would enable officials to identify a person’s name, address, sex and date of birth and be used by local and national government agencies in place of differing identification methods used now.”

[201] In some cases location identification can be as good as 20 m. See also the Iridium satellite network, the world’s first global telephone network in China Post (1998, p. 12). Compare with an earlier article written in 1994 titled, ‘the myth and reality of mobile satellite communications’ (Fordyce & Wu, pp. 393-399).

[202] For an introduction to GPS, see GPS Made Easy, by Letham (1998). What is important to note here is the truly global nature of GPS that can locate an individual using longitude and latitude coordinates anywhere on the earth’s surface. See Crow (1994, pp. 186-193) for a discussion on the integrated global surveillance and navigation system (IGSANS).

[203] See (2001).

[204] See Impson et al. (1999) for the innovative portable wireless battlefield ministration tracking and information system. This system makes use of a variety of different technologies including GPS, auto-ID, and a host of access network solutions. The way it works is that ministry teams are deployed to the battlefield to locate and collect wounded soldier(s). Information about the soldier is acquired from reading their smart card (like that of the MARC). See also Cohen, J. (1994, ch. 13), Templer (1997) and Espinosa-Duro (2000).

[205] See Xmark’s WISE (Wireless and Internet Infrastructure Software Environment) at (2001). For a brief introduction to location-dependent multimedia computing, see Krikelis (1999, pp. 13-15). See also Steer and Fauconnier (2000, pp. 1362-1366) and the CyberGuide project (Abowd et al. 1997, pp. 179-180).

[206] See the MOCONT prototype that was co-financed by the European Union (Recagno et al. 2001). Location is at the heart of the auto-ID technique (p. 2610).

[207] See CarCom™ at (2000) and (2001) for assistance, safety and security services including emergency response, crash detection, roadside assistance, diagnostics monitoring and more using GPS and auto-ID. One of the pioneering vehicle tracking systems was called Tracker (Wheatley 1993, pp. 1/3-1/3).

[208] See Brennan (1995) for how the smart card can stop car theft.

[209] See (2000). The researcher spent five years using GIS for telecommunications-specific applications at Nortel Networks between 1996 and 2001. In (2000) Michael states, “GIS today is slowly shifting from something that has been relatively important to a mission-critical application… The significant value-add will come from using the in-house information in ways that was never thought possible. That means linking geographic objects to pieces of information that were traditionally considered completely unrelated. It also means giving employees access to making real-time updates to the company database during data collection whether from a web browser, laptop, PDA or cell phone.”

[210] See how important map-based positioning is to RF/ID applications like autonomous mobile robots in Kubitz et al. (1997).

[211] See the capabilities of the company Sky Eye at (2003).