First responders in DC, Maryland and Virginia will receive smartcards early next year, Federal Computer Week reports. The cards will use public key infrastructure to identity firefighers, police officers and hospital employees.
“It’s so we know you are who you say you are in relation to a sponsoring agency,” Dept. of Homeland Security's Craig Wilson said. The cards will only allow personnel into areas where they're authorized to be.
The cards will use strong encryption and follow FIPS 201 and 14443 standards to allow contact and contactless verification of card contents, Wilson said. The cards will be recognized by all government agencies, federal, state and local.