ST. LOUIS (AP) — A discovery made by two Washington University scientists could play a role in preventing credit card fraud.
Marcel Muller and Ron Indeck were attempting to shrink bits of data onto a hard drive in the mid-1990s when they learned that magnetic media has what amounts to a fingerprint.
Tiny signals are present on the magnetic medium that comprises both hard drives and the strips on the back of credit cards. If the unique fingerprint on those strips is compared to fingerprints in a database, fraud can be detected.
California-based MagTek has adopted the technology, seeding the market with millions of card readers that can detect the fingerprints. The company's chief executive says the technology just needs to be "turned on" and used.
Schweich released an annual audit Tuesday examining Missouri's use of $12.7 billion of federal funds during the 2012 budget. He raised concerns about $68 million of expenses, mainly through programs run by the Department of Social Services.
As he has in the past, Schweich questioned whether some of Missouri's payments under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program were allowed under federal law. The department has said that they are.
Among other things, the audit also cited improper payments to some child care providers and noted that the state failed to perform annual eligibility verifications for some senior and elderly residents receiving home-based services.