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Top White House Officials Lead Discussion on Launch of ‘Identity Ecosystem’

photo: Pedro Nogueira

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, a public-private partnership on identity management solutions to bolster e-commerce, was officially launched last week.

In a conference call with reporters, White House Director for Cybersecurity Andy Ozment and head of NSTIC’s  national office Jeremy Grant spelled out the priorities and  goals of the initiative.

The four goals include creating a system with choice and innovation, the government facilitating growth of the marketplace, assurance of privacy for consumers and clarifying government liability clarity.

Talk of privacy and consumer hesitation to joining the voluntary program led the discussion. Ozment spoke of consumer privacy concerns and said the lack of privacy online today is a huge issue. He advocated consumer privacy protection with more control over personal information.

Echoing Ozment’s statements, Grant said raising the bar on privacy gives consumers confidence, thus making them less reluctant to join the ecosystem. Both officials discussed the goal of giving consumers a variety of options when it comes to credential providers and stronger credentials in general.

The economic benefits of having NSTIC were laid out. Ozment said more online services equals growth and that the program is a huge platform for a variety of government and retail services.

Grant assured the initiative would be led by the private sector but facilitated by the government. He invited consumers and privacy advocates to participate in this effort. Ozment ended the discussion by saying this initiative is in no way easy and hard to accomplish, but it is a significant step forward for consumers who want it.

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