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Industry panel wants US digital IDs off ISO’s and TSA’s to-do list

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Industry panel wants US digital IDs off ISO’s and TSA’s to-do list

A panel of digital ID community insiders yesterday told the U.S. Congress that the federal government has put the future of ID verification in the wrong hands.

Worse, those hands are waiting for standards from the International Standards Organization (ISO), an organization at least some of the speakers appeared to view with suspicion.

The four witnesses were testifying before a House of Representatives subcommittee on transportation on what verification process will follow when (and if) the Real ID standard for driver licenses is enforced by state and other governments.

It was clear in their testimony that they feel the Congress is not taking the need for better IDs generally and, in particular, standardized and secure digital IDs accepted by citizens.

The fact that they were speaking in a mostly empty subcommittee chamber and not a roomful of first-string policymakers could not have helped lack of urgency they feel.

Then there was the moment when the subcommittee chairman, Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.) asked, basically, how a Real ID works.

The panelists were Ian Grossman, CEO of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA); Jeremy Grant, coordinator for the Better Identity Coalition; vendor Idemia Senior VP Hal Wiediger; and Jay Stanley, a policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union.

All felt that ISO is moving too slowly on mobile driver licenses, and some felt the international organization was being worryingly opaque on how it is proceeding with making the standards.

Far more acceptable would be the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, which has devised countless standards including those underpinning ISO standards.

There also was dissatisfaction with the Transportation Security Administration, which secures the nation’s transportation nodes, riding herd on development of digital IDs.

Grant and others said creating IDs is not one of the TSA’s core competencies, nor is it an operational priority.

“Compared to the other critical functions on (its priorities) list, identity has gotten scant investment and attention,” he said.

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