UC Berkeley News


Hint: only one swings from a lanyard
When ID cards are rebranded, there's room for confusion

| 16 September 2004

Last year’s rebranding of the Cal Photo ID as the Cal 1 Card may have confused campus veterans as well as newcomers. Wearable on a lanyard or carried in a wallet, the Cal 1 Card displays an employee’s ID number and its barcode equivalent on the front side (along with the bearer’s photo); a magnetic strip runs across the back. (Each employee is assigned an ID number when she or he is hired and entered into the Human Resources Management System.)

As students are already accustomed to doing, faculty and staff can deposit funds into a Cal 1 Card debit account, then use the card to buy tickets to Cal sporting events, services from the Recreational Sports Facility, and purchases at the campus bookstore.

“The Cal Photo ID is really the only public physical confirmation that you’re a member of the Cal community,” says Angela Blackstone, chief technology officer for Residential and Student Programs, who oversees the Cal 1 Card office.

On the other hand, says Blackstone, an individual’s CalNet ID is private: “No one knows the ID number but the individual it’s assigned to. It functions as a secure key in cyberspace that allows you to access confidential information and services that are restricted to the Cal community.” CalNet IDs are useful for checking your information on the e-parking website, for instance, and essential for being able to connect to AirBears, the campus’s local-access wireless network. (A partial list of services requiring a CalNet ID for access is at calnet.berkeley.edu/current_apps.html.)

Still confused? Natalie Kato, senior editor of Berkeley Computing & Communication, and Kalle Nemvalts, public information manager for Information Systems and Technology, detailed the finer points of these important means of identification and their distinct uses in an iNews article earlier this year (istpub.berkeley.edu:4201/bcc/Fall2004/ucbids.html).