Biden urged to consider federal digital identity framework
United States President Joe Biden has been advised to consider putting in place a nationwide digital identity framework as one of four proposed measures experts believe will help fight identity theft in the country.
In a letter spotted by GovInfoSecurity, addressed to Biden by identity security experts and posted to Twitter, the President has been urged to factor in four keys aspects in an upcoming Executive Order. Apart from putting in place a federal digital identity framework, the other proposals include accelerating and further supporting the issuance of mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs), provision of direct assistance to victims of identity theft and the establishment of identity attribute validation services.
Drafters of the letter are groups including Better Identity Coalition, the Identity Theft Resource Center, the Electronic Transactions Association, the National Cyber Security Alliance, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Technology Engagement Center.
“These four initiatives will ensure that any EO (Executive Order) prioritizes helping Americans avoid ever becoming identity theft victims, and assure that those Americans who are victimized will be able to get the help they need to be made whole,” a portion of the letter reads.
According to the experts, using mDLs to identity oneself, as is currently the case in some states, will make online identification safer and easier, as opposed to the use of plastic ID cards. They have also called on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to set rules to govern mDL deployment as well as financial support from the federal government to States to accelerate the rollout.
NIST would also be tasked with creating the standards and best practices that would make up the digital identity framework.
On the aspect of direct assistance to identity theft victims, the groups bemoaned the fact that no such formal service exists at the local, state or federal levels, except the Identity Theft Resource Center which offers assistance to victims gratis.
Regarding identity attribute validation, the groups mention that it will help fight fraud, improve inclusion and “help solve identity theft challenges in both public and private sector applications – and Americans are at risk of identity theft and fraud in both.”
The call on Biden comes not long after he signed another Executive Order on the responsible management of digital assets. The U.S. President has been clear about his intention to improve digital security in the United States.