Friday, January 21, 2011

Trusted Identities in Cyberspace

The Obama Administration's initiative to establish a national strategy to establish trusted identities in executing commercial transactions online is much needed. We have been relying for years on simple ad-hoc approaches to security that have grown without any plan or structure. They have just sprouted up.

The result has been that we have multiple signons, with some of them quite effective and many ridiculously ineffective. What is worse, people are expected to remember a great many passwords and pin numbers, some for sensitive information like direct access to their bank accounts. They can't remember everything so they use the same passwords for multiple purposes with some using the same password for their hotmail account as they do for their bank account,. That is more than wreckless.

The idea behind the Trusted Identity is that people would pre-establish their identity in a common database with strict government supervision and then when they execute a transaction online a single signon would be sufficient,. Also, they would not need to give all that long list of personal information that some sites now require. And which causes privacy advocates headaches and nightmares.

Such a policy is more than overdue. Here's an article that explains more as to why.

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