Obama aims to fight identity theft with new online ID plan

Many dentists purchase sundries online to accrue points for rewards programs; this article in particular is something that OUR government should pursue aggressively.


an attempt to better fortify the security of online transactions, the Obama
administration today revealed a new online security strategy that will provide
individuals with a single, more reliable online identification. The White House
hopes the plan will bolster Americans’ confidence in doing business online, and
provide a boost to the country’s e-commerce economy.

“By making online transactions more
trustworthy and better protecting privacy, we will prevent costly crime, we
will give businesses and consumers new confidence, and we will foster growth
and untold innovation,” President Barack Obama at a meeting with the US Chamber
of Commerce today. “That’s why this initiative is so important for our
economy,” he said. Known as the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in
Cyberspace (NSTIC),the plan would allow consumers to acquire a single,
certified set of login credentials, which could be used with all participating
online retailers and other institutions, like banks.

goal of NSTIC is to create an ‘Identity Ecosystem’ in which there will be
interoperable, secure, and reliable credentials available to consumers who want
them,” the White House said in a statement today. “Consumers who want to
participate will be able to obtain a single credential — such as a unique
piece of software on a smart phone, a smart card, or a token that generates a
one-time digital password.” Adoption of the NSTIC identification would reduce
users’ need to memorize the long list of passwords and usernames currently
required. Users can also pick and choose which sites they use the ID with, and
which ones they don’t.

can use their credential to prove their identity when they’re carrying out
sensitive transactions, like banking, and can stay anonymous when they are
not,” the White House said. According to the administration’s numbers,
resolving an instance of identity theft can take about 130 hours to resolve,
and cost more than $600 of out-of-pocket expenses. While the government will
help business and other institutions achieve the NSTIC plan, it should not be
confused with the implementation of a controversial national ID plan.

are two key points about this strategy: First, this is NOT a
government-mandated, national ID program; in fact, it’s not an identity
‘program’ at all,” said Leslie Harris, president of the Center for Democracy
& Technology, in a statement today. “Second, this is a call by the
administration to the private sector to step up, take leadership of this effort
and provide the innovation to implement a privacy-enhancing, trusted system.”

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