Trusted Identity Plan Unleashed
By Zack Martin
Friday, June 10, 2011
When the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace was released in April some described it was “Woodstock for identity geeks.” Industry officials were excited to see the plan and hear what was announced, but there weren’t a lot of surprises.
The goal of the strategy is to protect privacy, fight identity theft and fraud, drive economic growth by driving business online and create a platform for new Web services, said a White House administration official. User names and passwords are no longer good enough and potentially pose a national security risk. In order to secure online identities, something more is needed–be it a smart card, USB token, mobile device or something else.
The government would work on setting standards and facilitating the process while the private sector takes the lead in deploying the credentials and systems used to read them. “Our goal is to have a credential that would work anywhere online. If consumers want to have more than one they can,” said a White House official.
The Department of Commerce is leading work on the strategy, with the program office located with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, says Jeremy Grant, senior executive advisor of ID management at NIST. There are also plans to fund pilots in fiscal year 2012 with $24.5 million earmarked for these tests in the Commerce Department budget.
NIST will also be having a series of workshops across the country this summer to discuss the strategy. The first two will be held on the east coast with one on the west coast slated for late summer. Governance of the identity system will be a topic covered in the first meting scheduled for early June with future meetings addressing implementation, Grant says.