White House debuts ‘Identity Ecosystem’

April 18, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
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The Obama Administration has unveiled a national strategy to safeguard internet users against fraud and identity theft and enhance individuals’privacy by creating trusted entities that develop unique credentials for each user.

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) aims to make online transactions more trustworthy by creating create an “Identity Ecosystem” in which interoperable, secure and reliable credentials will available to users. Consumers who want to participate will be able to obtain a single credential, such as unique software on a smartphone, a smart card or a token that generates a one-time digital password. Instead of having to remember myriad passwords, credentialed users can log into any website with more security than passwords alone provide, according to an April 15 White House statement.

As envisioned in the 45-page National Strategy document, the federal government will facilitate a private-sector-led effort to develop Identity Ecosystem technologies, standards and policies, and to enable a self-sustaining market of credential providers. There will be no single, centralized database of information, and users will be able to choose among different providers of credentials and easily change credential types and providers.

The NSTIC seeks to drive the development of privacy-enhancing policies as well as innovative privacy-enhancing technologies to ensure that the ecosystem provides strong privacy protections for consumers, according to the statement.

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