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MorphoTrust gets pilot grant from NIST to create secure electronic ID


The National Institute of Standards and Technology has given MorphoTrust USA (Safran) a pilot grant to create an electronic ID to access online services with the same security, privacy protection and ability to authenticate identity as today’s face-to-face transactions.

Through the pilot program, MorphoTrust will receive $1.47 million over the next two years to test the security, viability and interoperability of an electronic credential that encourages confidence, privacy, selection and innovation to meet the key principles of the White House’s National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace.

The public-private partnership is designed to establish an online equivalent to the physical driver license in terms of level, to provide an affordable, readily available and highly reliable way of assuring that people are exactly who they say they are in an online environment.

The pilot program’s goals are to prove that an eID can be generated that maintains the trust of a secure credential and can be used to eliminate in-person identity proofing requirements, to demonstrate elevation of trust using biometric multi-factor authentication, and to define a framework through which states and commercial entities can trust each eID.

To achieve all of this, MorphoTrust will use a range of credentials including the North Carolina driver license, state ID documents and system of record to generate an eID for those applying for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Food and Nutrition Services Program online.

By using these credentials, people will not be required to appear in person to apply for FNS benefits, which lowers state costs and provides applicants with faster and easier access to the benefits they need.

In addition to its partnerships with the North Carolina DOT and DHHS, MorphoTrust will also team up with The University of Texas at Austin Center for Identity, Gluu, Toopher, miiCard and Privacy Engineer Debra Diener for this pilot.

“Trust is necessary to enable the growing web economy and ensure the security of our identities online,” said MorphoTrust CEO Bob Eckel. “Working with our partners, MorphoTrust’s plan is to facilitate this trust, allowing individuals to confidently assert their identity online, and provide relying parties with the assurance that these identities are trustworthy.”

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