App stores digital copy of cards in your wallet

February 25, 2013 1:19:44 PM PST
If you've ever lost your wallet or purse, you know what a nightmare it can be cancelling and replacing all your credit cards and other important identifying information. 7 On Your Side has a look at the effectiveness and safety of a modern day solution.

The answer to some sits in the cloud. The idea is to back up your information on the internet and have access to it pretty much everywhere you go.

Twenty-two-year-old Megan Sinclair has accumulated a lot of important identifying information in her short years. Driver's licenses, credit cards, debit cards -- nearly two dozen different affinity cards all tied to her name. It's not anything she would ever want to lose. That's where Lemon Wallet of Palo Alto comes in.

"So Lemon Wallet is an app that backs up the contents of your actual wallet. The way it does this is it allows you to take photos of the different cards that you carry around," said PC Magazine software specialist Jill Duffy.

Your information would be stored in the cloud and would be available anywhere where you have access to the internet. The app itself is free, but for $40 a year Lemon's premium service will help you cancel or replace any lost or stolen identification cards.

"It's also kind of convenient when you can start adding things like loyalty cards, your library card, maybe a membership card so you don't have to carry all of them around anymore," said Duffy.

You'll simply be able to swipe your cell phone to make credit and debit card purchases and to identify yourself at the gym or library.

"So basically what we tried to build is something that would allow you to keep your wallet at home," said Lemon Wallet Chief Technology Officer Federico Murrone.

Rainey Reitman is with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco. She's concerned about putting personal information in the cloud.

"People don't want you to carry around your social security card in your physical wallet. So why should you possibly want to upload it into your digital wallet?" said Reitman.

She says since 2005 there have been 600 million data breaches involving 3,000 companies, some of it involving the cloud. But Lemon Wallet says its information is already encrypted and pin protected.

"We are not encrypting with just your pin. We are encrypting a very large key in which the pin is just a piece of that," said Murrone.

Rainey says for those uncomfortable with just a four digit pin, it's worth the $40 a year to get an extra layer of protection with a second password. Duffy suggests making sure your Lemon Wallet pin is different from your cell phone pin.


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