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Digital ID blueprint for all 50 US states published. No big asks

Digital ID blueprint for all 50 US states published. No big asks
 

A crowd of major corporations doing business in the United States is encouraging state governments to enact six policies considered by industry insiders vital to establishing a national secure digital ID regime.

The Better Identity Coalition, 27 companies based in the U.S. – among them AT&T, Equifax, Yubico and Mastercard – and elsewhere — Onfido and Idemia – either want to stop worrying about ID fraud or want to profit from preventing it.

This is the coalition’s second ambitious outing. In 2018, the year it formed, the group issued a related blueprint for the federal government, where progress has been negligible. There is hope that more can be accomplished working with state legislatures.

The coalition is a project within the non-profit Center for Cybersecurity Policy & Law.

First, members of the coalition are encouraging states to make their motor vehicle licensing agencies the core of building and then maintaining systems that interoperate with other state agencies and governments beyond their own borders.

These agencies for the most part are already central to each states’ identification processes, moderating learning curves.

Vital records bureaus should be updated, according to coalition members, having them create attribute-validation services. Vital records include birth, marriage and death databases.

Third, state officials have to overcome fear, uncertainty and doubt of ID innovations that can get the most residents in digital ID programs, like mobile driver’s licenses. Policymakers should also make sure digital ID services meet industry and government standards.

Governmental leaders have to ensure that programs created to support marginalized populations get the same attention as the driver’s license effort. Not only is it the right (and probably legal) thing to do, every step that gets a state closer to 100 percent participation with digital IDs is important.

They have to make strong authentication a guiding star for programs. Multi-factor authentication is keystone of any digital ID scheme.

And sixth, do no harm. It is as critical here to hold that motto as it is on a surgical room. Some mistakes and avoidable problems will have life-long impacts.

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