Several companies have launched into digital identity authentication and verification tasks in recent times, with some departments seeking to leverage one another’s work and convey cohesion to digital identity efforts throughout authorities.
The General Services Administration launched Login.gov in 2017 as a safe sign-in service for the general public to entry authorities web sites and companies. It can be utilized to entry USAJobs or apply for federal small enterprise loans, amongst different companies and advantages. GSA obtained almost $187 million from the Technology Modernization Fund final yr to proceed scaling up using Login.gov.
As it considers the best way to increase Login.gov and supply different digital verification companies for companies, GSA can also be seeking to advance the idea of “strong authoritative attribute verification,” in line with Phil Lam, govt director of identity at GSA.
“How can we do that with other agencies such as the [Postal Service], for example, with address, or State Department, perhaps with the passport and maybe even [the Transportation Security Administration] with a known traveler number?” Lam stated at this time throughout a convention hosted by the Better Identity Coalition, the FIDO Alliance and the ID Theft Resource Center.
“And how do we bring together these different government agencies so that we can do identity verification at the attribute level, direct to the authoritative source?” Lam continued.
The Social Security Administration’s work on the digital Consent Based Social Security Number Verification service, or eCBSV, could possibly be a mannequin for different companies, he stated. The system permits monetary establishments to confirm a shopper’s title, date of delivery and social safety quantity towards SSA’s information.
“It’s groundbreaking for government agencies to allow that,” Lam stated. “They do it in a privacy preserving way, where they’re not sending information out. They’re just saying, ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ And that sort of model, I think is a really great model for other agencies.”
The eCBSV service launched final yr and has processed almost 40 million transactions up to now, in line with Katie Wechsler, govt director of the Consumer First Coalition, which labored with SSA to construct and launch the system. The coalition’s members embrace main banks and credit score establishments.
“We’re continuing to work to make it sure that it’s efficient and effective as possible,” Wechsler stated. “But I think that the bottom line is I really do think the system could be a model for other government-private sector verification initiatives. Real-time access to reliable and secure government data is key to combating identity theft and fraud.”
Wechsler stated she’s encouraging different companies to achieve out to SSA to debate the company’s expertise with eCBSV. She stated she just lately directed the Department of Defense to SSA as DoD explores a system to test the responsibility standing of service members.
Meanwhile, the Transportation Security Administration is working with Apple and “other vendors” to permit vacationers to make use of a digital pockets ID at airport checkpoints, in line with Jason Lim, department supervisor for the screening know-how integration program at TSA. He stated the company desires to construct “an ecosystem based on open standards by which we can ingest this data.”
TSA will launch a pilot program, beginning with iOS units after which transferring to Android units, by the top of fiscal yr 2022 at a number of areas, in line with Lim. While the pilot is concentrated on in-person checkpoints, the work will “inform” how TSA additionally approaches on-line ID verification, Lim stated.
Congress can also be displaying some curiosity in how companies are approaching digital identities. House lawmakers launched the Improving Digital Identity Act of 2021 final yr. The invoice would set up a job pressure involving quite a few federal companies, in addition to state and native authorities members, to find out how the federal government can finest assist digital identity companies.
The laws would additionally direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop a “digital identity framework” to information federal, state and native efforts to assist determine verification companies.
While the invoice didn’t see any motion final yr, the problem might have some elevated urgency behind it this yr as the dimensions of pandemic-related fraud turns into extra obvious, in line with Tim Weiler, financial coverage advisor and legislative counsel to Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), one of many sponsors of the laws.
“Congress is tough because we move from fire to fire to some extent, especially in the pandemic,” Weiler stated. “But we’ve rephrased this, it can be a pandemic issue. A lot of the rollout of stimulus support and the fraud that we saw with that and a lot of problems there could have been alleviated with a digital identity framework.”
GSA’s Lam stated companies will want congressional motion to convey a extra unified technique to federal digital identity initiatives.
“It won’t be something we can just kind of do on our own as agencies, but the desire is there,” he stated. “We’ve all been here in this space in the U.S. working on this problem, some of us over a decade now. So we’re dedicated. But it does take some time.”