Personal identification cards have been in the marketplace for several decades. Commonplace is the driver’s license, ATM, student ID, public library ID, movie, social security, diner, and personal and or private club cards based on interest. Information on these cards is either one-sided or dual-sided. Card characteristics may include lamination and mode of printing such as laser.
HID proximity cards were innovated in the 1990s by Hughes Aircraft Company and the acronym stands for Hughes Identification Device cards. They are prominent in government, colleges, healthcare market, and major corporations to create authorized access to offices and/or workplace property. In its earlier history, 125-kilohertz proximity technology was used by Hughes Aircraft for tracking aircraft parts, and expanded to include the tire industry, and even animal identification. As the proximity technology took hold, it branched out into other arenas as concern for security became a major concern globally in the 2000’s.
Printers and Readers
Desktop printers for producing HID Proximity cards have several manufacturers. Among those that stand out, they are Kodak, Fargo, Magicard and Evolis. Recently, issuance of mobile credentials (ID cards) has been reported to be accomplished via “the cloud.” Even with innovation, the Federal Government’s Federal Trade Commission Consumer Division advises one limiting carrying ID to that of personal ID, credit/debit card and leave others stored privately.
Perhaps to better understand HID Proximity is to become familiar with some industry terminology. Secure issuance refers to method and materials used for creating proximity identification. The method may embody multi-dimensional card validation which includes encoding, design of such, and internal card construction, i.e., a computer chip or other technological advancement. Three-dimensional card validation generally focuses on storage of personal data. Materials such as type of printer, high definition printing versus direct-to-card printing, card readers, encoders and other such devices. Use of cryptographics provides more assurance that personal data herein is secure, and counterfeit measures are truly minimal if not eliminated. Furthermore, HID proximity cards, also known as smart cards, need to provide compatible read solutions as well as visual and digital security protection. Regarding the printer, it is important to understand how personal data fed in will ultimately be eliminated from the ribbon panel.
The international company, HID Global, is a key player in the manufacturing of security solutions to include card/printer encoders and security software. HID Proximity Cards are likely effective if they only allow authorized access to the end-user.