ID card issues may be weather, cell phone related

February 11, 2019

UNMC faculty, staff and students have seen an uptick in ID cards suddenly no longer working, according to Steve Williamson, manager of ID and access control at UNMC.

One possible reason? Cold temperatures.

"The cold weather is one issue that can be dealt with by having people keep their ID badge with them at all times," Williamson said. "We know it may not be convenient -- many people leave their badges in their vehicles so they don't forget them at home. This not only poses a security risk if someone breaks into a vehicle and steals the badge, but also subjects the card to extreme cold temperatures. Our review of other northern-climate campuses cite the extreme cold temps causing a greater failure rate for ID media."

The second issue revolves around the somewhat common practice of placing a card in a sleeve attached to the back of a cell phone, Williamson said.

"The wireless charging devices on some phones actually 'fry' the chips and antennas embedded in the cards, rendering the card unusable," he said. "In some of the more severe cases, the internal copper antennas embedded in the cards heat up to the point of melting the card."

According to UNMC policy, cardholders are financially liable for replacement of abused/mishandled cards.

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