I think that "smart" credit cards need to be the norm and will help prevent identity theft. It is happening too much on such a big scale that there needs to be a way to try to prevent it. Everyone has smart phones now and think that the credit card company needs to follow suit.
Yes. The more advanced safety mechanisms attached to credit cards will protect buyers from theft. Furthermore, thieves will be caught much more easily by locating their GPS coordinates. It appears the next wave of security will be attaching GPS locators with credit cards. This will automatically give protection to the credit card holder and put more fear into future thieves.
Yes, chip-enabled "smart" credit cards are the solution to mass theft, because a person has to know the pin before they can use the card. This is the system that they have in Europe. They have moved to a more protective system, while anyone who finds an American card can use it. The European system is better.
The problem with technology isn't technology but people. Most mass threats are not actually a failure of the system itself (as seen above) but a failure to safeguard within the system as designed because there's no interaction between humans and the currency anymore. There is no method for point blank confrontation anymore simply because even if the card doesn't work it will just report insufficient funds versus "a hack".
Unfortunately the only sure way to keep yourself protected from credit card theft or credit card fraud is to pay cash for things and limit your credit card use. I know that some people need to use credit cards occasionally to improve their credit scores and build a reputation with credit companies, but smart cards may end up getting hacked too.