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September 20, 2011

US wants online users authenticated

National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace aims at improving e-Commerce

By CBR Staff Writer

The White House has reportedly initiated an online user authentication programme that aims to fight cyberphobia.

The New York Times reported that the plan, ‘the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace,’ is aimed at making e-Commerce stronger and more thrust-worthy.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is overseeing the initiative which was introduced earlier this year. The plan encourages the private-sector development and public adoption of online user authentication systems.

The report said that the plan was to provide online users a card that was more like a "driver’s license for the Internet." It added that the making things simpler and safer in the Web world will help grow e-commerce. The plan could also help companies offer consumers with genuine authentication more secure online services without having to develop their own vetting software.

NIST senior executive adviser for identity management Jeremy Grant said, "What if states had a better way to authenticate your identity online, so that you didn’t have to make a trip to the D.M.V.?"

However, privacy groups have raised concerns over the potential misuse of such a system. They claim such measures could end up increasing consumer exposure to online surveillance and identity theft, according to the report.

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