Your shout: chip and Pin, card fraud, Xbox

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Computer Weekly readers' give their views on the week's news

The real question behind chip and Pin technology

Further to your article on chip and Pin fraud, (Computer Weekly, 13 June) the chip system being used in the UK is, unlike your article states, a global standard; it is a system call EMV as it was introduced by Europay, MasterCard and Visa.

Your article correctly states that the EMV standard has not yet been taken up by the US as well as quite a few other countries, but it will. Only when every terminal in the world processes chips will we be able to be confident about not having our bank card copied and used illegally.

Visa and MasterCard are effectively forcing each country to implement the EMV chip standard by announcing dates for each country, after which it will be the retailer who will pay for any fraud. Currently the issuer still pays the merchant for fraudulent transactions but that is changing.

The UK should be applauded as being an early adopter of this new standard, but you should be asking Visa and MasterCard why they are not forcing the US to implement chip technology the way that they are forcing other countries.

Colin Davis


Magnetic strip has to be phased out to beat fraud

Lindsay Clark’s article (Computer Weekly, 13 June) highlighted the need for firms to better educate their staff on the threat of card fraud and align their business processes to prevent attacks. Equally, it identified the inherent weaknesses of the magnetic strip, which is still retained on the back of new chip and Pin cards. Let’s not forget that the magnetic strip’s vulnerability to fraud, was the main rationale for the introduction of chip and Pin.

The well documented attack suffered by Shell highlights the need for the magnetic strip to be phased out – this can only be achieved through the global acceleration of chip and Pin adoption – a technology that has proved itself to be successful in stopping fraud levels escalating.

However, fighting card fraud effectively cannot just be about technology; it is also about the security of processes and people. It is imperative, therefore, that organisations comply with the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard, which was set up to fight fraud at the point of sale and across a multi-channel retailing environment. Organisations have to continually invest in improving their security in order to ensure they are always one step ahead of the bad guys.

Mark McMurtrie, The Logic Group


Why Microsoft can afford to play with the Xbox

Do the commentators in your article “Business focus sought from Gates’ successors” who talk about “business” and “IT solutions” really believe that a company with the size and resource of Microsoft cannot afford a couple of teams devoted to search technology and a few hundred engineers working on Xbox without harming its business software in the process.

Dan Coleman


Multisourcing needs structured governance

Paul Williams has documented the increasing crisis of IT governance being seen as “non-strategic” by non-technical management (Computer Weekly, 13 June).

An additional point worth adding is the growth of multisourcing. As firms see increasing benefit in the use of a partner ecosystem, rather than single supplier outsourcing, supplier management is becoming more complex and needs a structured system of governance to function, taking into account suppliers, internal departments, and the end customer.

Mark Kobayashi-Hillary, National Outsourcing Association


Credit where it’s due for world’s first spreadsheet

Ray Ozzie wrote the first spreadsheet? (Computer Weekly, 20 June). I thought that honour went to Dan Bricklin. While Ray Ozzie did indeed work for VisiCalc (Bricklin’s company), his official blog at msn detailing his work history merely states that while there he ported Visicalc to the Z80. Hardly on a par with writing the original program itself. Ozzie is famous for his involvement with Notes Groupware, not spreadsheets.

Anthony Youngman


Lack of TV licence could mean World Cup woes

One thing that was not mentioned in the letters about the effects of staff watching World Cup games (Computer Weekly, 13 June), was that the business premises that do allow staff to watch matches could be facing fines anyway, if the business does not own a TV licence. According to the BBC news site, A TV licence is required for any device that is “installed or used” for receiving television broadcasts.

Neil Deighan

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