Coakley is Wrong to Champion ‘Chip and PIN’ Fits-All-Solution By Neil McCabe


Martha Mary Coakley, recently hired at the liberal Boston law and lobbying firm Foley Hoag, has come out swinging for mandatory “Chip-and-PIN” systems for debit and credit cards.

Although, she must be desperate for a win, it is hard for me to pity Coakley or agree with her.

When I was a full time reporter in Somerville, Massachusetts, a small city bordering Boston, I knew of three instances, where she declined to pursue sexual assault charges against politically connected suspects, as the Middlesex County District Attorney.

This was before she lost a Senate race to Republican Scott P. Brown in 2010 or she failed in her 2014 bid for Massachusetts governor against Charles D. Baker Jr., a man even more liberal than Brown.

The Chip-and-PIN system is almost universal in Europe and Canada and it is familiar to federal civilian workers and military personnel as the Common Access Card, or CAC card, that allows the holder to access buildings, digitally sign documents and log on to government computers.

For the consumer, it means he no longer has to sign a paper receipt, when he interfaces with the Europay-Mastercard-Visa transactional grid. With the Chip and PIN card, the consumer inserts his card with the brass colored chip into the reader and for purchases over a certain amount, let us say $20, the consumer types in his personal identification number.

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