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Postal Service Taps Canadian Firm To Test Viability of a Single Online ID

Robert Ray/AP file photo

The U.S. Postal Service awarded a contract worth up to $15 million on Tuesday for a pilot program that may one day allow citizens to securely use a single ID and password to access online services from multiple government agencies, contracting documents show.

The Postal Service is managing the Federal Cloud Credentialing Exchange system as part of a cross-agency team set up by President Obama’s National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, launched in 2011.

The plan is that the credentialing exchange will act as a middleman between agencies and popular private sector ID providers, such as Verizon and PayPal.

If this service works, one day a person might be able to change an address online by logging on to USPS.gov with the same passcode or smart card he or she uses to file taxes through IRS.gov and buy books from Amazon.com.

Agencies have been slow to accept third-party ID credentials “due to technical, policy and cost barriers,” the contract solicitation said.

The current contract is for a one-year dry run with two optional one-year extensions. It went to Canadian company SecureKey Technologies, one of 18 bidders, according to the award notice. 

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