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Advocacy groups urge US Congress to pass Improving Digital Identity Act

Advocacy groups urge US Congress to pass Improving Digital Identity Act

The Better Identity Coalition has joined with the Identity Theft Resource Center and eight other organizations to call on U.S. Congress to include the Improving Digital Identity Act of 2022 in its year-end spending bill.

The letter to Congressional leaders on both sides of the was reprinted in a Tweet from the Coalition.

Other groups signing the call for federal action on digital ID include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Technology Engagement Center and advocates for cybersecurity, healthcare, and financial services.

The Digital Identity Act of 2022 has advanced through committees in both the House of Representatives and Senate, but has yet to be brought to a vote.

The letter highlights the 293 million people affected by data breaches in 2021, and a 333 percent increase in losses from identity fraud since 2017. Identity theft has impacted almost half of Americans, they say, and the proliferation of unemployment insurance fraud estimated by the Department of Labor.  Signatories note the FTC’s estimate that identity theft for public benefits fraud increased by 3,000 percent from 2019 to 2020, and that FinCEN has identified the abuse of personally identifiable information and other components of digital identity is a key enabler of fraud and cybercrime in the U.S.

Synthetic identity fraud now costs $20 billion a year, the Federal Reserve says.

“The lack of an easy, secure, reliable way for entities to verify identities of people they are dealing with online creates friction in commerce, leads to increased fraud and theft, degrades privacy and hinders the availability of many services online,” the signatories write.

Digital identity infrastructure could add 4 percent to America’s GDP by 2030, they argue, and NIST says it could save a single agency more than $300 million each year.

“By prioritizing digital identity infrastructure, we will prevent costly cybercrime, help ensure Americans never become identity theft victims, give businesses and consumers new confidence, and foster growth and innovation across the economy,” the letter concludes.

Many of the same groups wrote to President Joe Biden earlier this year to urge him to put digital identity infrastructure in place through an executive order.

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