‘Smart cards central to local…

‘Smart cards central to local eGovernment services’

Published on: 05/02/2016

Local public administrations developing smart city plans should focus on the use of smart cards to allow citizens to access and pay for their eGovernment services, according to recommendation from researchers at the University of Zaragoza (Spain). Citizens have accepted smart cards, and appreciate their benefits and security, the researchers write in the April 2015 issue of Government Information Quarterly.

Increasing the number of services and infrastructures accessed by smartcards, and linking smartcards to smart city online initiatives could be two crucial ways of increasing citizen-smart city interaction, the researchers write in their paper, ‘Determinants of multi-service smartcard success for smart cities development: A study based on citizens’ privacy and security perceptions’. The paper is publicly available in the publication’s current sample issue.

The researchers base their recommendations on their study of the use of smartcards in the city of Zaragoza. They find that the cards’ are generally seen as useful and safe, and are accepted by all citizens.

Essential security

In the Spanish city, government-dispensed smart cards can be used for identification. They can also be used for paying small fees, and to access public services and facilities. Zaragoza uses the cards to implement public policies, for example, by providing public transport discounts to seniors and the unemployed. In Zaragoza, about 30% of citizens now use a smartcard to interact with the town’s services.

According to the researchers, Zaragoza’s citizens are not worried about smartcard security and privacy issues. They suppose this is because the personal information in the card is very limited. However, they encourage city planners to “carefully maintain a high level of privacy in their services, given that the amount and relevance of personal information managed by the smartcards is growing as a consequence of the implementation of the smart city plan.”


More information:

Government Information Quarterly