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Looking back at spring digital ID challenge, FDIC and FinCEN find familiar shortcomings

Looking back at spring digital ID challenge, FDIC and FinCEN find familiar shortcomings

The U.S government has released its analysis of a digital ID-proofing challenge held this spring. As befits a global and amorphic threat, the takeaways are broad and multi-layered.

Washington officials (and those everywhere) want to create ways to measure the effectiveness of remote digital ID proofing for digital financial services.

“Breakdowns in the identification process” are responsible for most of the 3 million reports of suspicious activity that banks submitted to the government last year, according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, an agency within the Treasury Department.

Immediately following the event, known as a tech sprint, the FDIC, or Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and the FinCEN, highlighted three teams as best in one of three categories – creativity, effectiveness and readiness.

The team recognized for creativity featured representatives from LexisNexis Risk Solutions, 1Kosmos and Bonifii. The team honored for effectiveness includes Mitek CTO Stephen Ritter, and FaceTec SVP of North American Operations Jay Meier was part of the team judged to have made the most market-ready entry.

It was difficult to discern if challenge judges of the three-week, eight-team event in April found any one proposal clearly superior overall.

There are takeaways, however.

All of the proposals, from mixed teams of business, non-profit and academic experts, chose one or more of three approaches.

First was tools to measure system effectiveness. Second was a scoring methodology for remote ID proofing. Third was a platform or consortium comprised of identity vendors.

Among the ideas that the government highlighted were creating an identity clearinghouse, a process to spot gaps in an organization’s digital ID proofing and recommend fixes, a data-sharing function similar to networks for cybersecurity and regulatory sandboxes.

FinCEN has published all of the takeaways as well as the solutions proposed by each of the eight teams.

The organization is highlighting tech sprints as part of its effort to expand partnerships and feedback loops.

Prepared remarks by Jimmy Kirby, acting deputing director of the FinCEN, for last week’s Federal ID Forum & Expo, emphasize outreach as a key step in combatting fraudsters and others looking for holes in private and public armor.

“Failures often reflect processes that are insufficient, circumvented, not completed or not in place to begin with,” according to Kirby.

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