OMB’s New ID Policy Will Help Consumers Protect Their Identities Online

StunningArt/Shutterstock.com

America should modernize our existing paper-based identification systems around a privacy-protecting, consumer-centric digital model.

Opening new accounts. Updating records. Paying your bills. As Americans do more and more online, our digital identities are becoming increasingly important.

Unfortunately, our current systems for verifying and protecting those identities are outdated. Adversaries have caught up with the first-generation systems that businesses and government have used for digital identity proofing and verification, leading to millions of fraud victims and billions of dollars in losses.

With a focus on changing these trends, more than 15 companies banded together last year to launch the Better Identity Coalition. Last July, the Coalition released Better Identity in America: A Blueprint for Policymakers, with a core recommendation that the best way to address digital identity challenges is not by creating new identity systems. Instead, America should modernize our existing paper-based identification systems—think Social Security cards and driver’s licenses—around a privacy-protecting, consumer-centric digital model that allows consumers to ask the agency that issued a credential to stand behind it in the online world.  

Against that backdrop, we were encouraged to see the White House Office of Management and Budget release a new identity policy memo echoing that recommendation, calling for agencies to offer improved digital identity solutions.

Per that memo:  

“Agencies that are authoritative sources for attributes (e.g., SSN) utilized in identity proofing events, as selected by OMB and permissible by law, shall establish privacy-enhanced data validation APIs for public and private sector identity proofing services to consume, providing a mechanism to improve the assurance of digital identity verification transactions based on consumer consent.”

Consumer consent and privacy are essential here: the idea is that consumers can ask an agency that issued them a paper credential to vouch for them online. It’s the start of shifting the predominant model for identity verification from one based on entities aggregating personal data without opt-in consent to one where consumers proactively request that their data be validated for the sole purpose of verifying identity.  

This new directive from the White House is a critical step, and it lays the policy foundation for a new array of more secure, privacy-enhanced digital identity solutions to help consumers better protect their identities and more easily do business online. But the work does not stop here. It will be important for OMB and agencies to take concrete steps to operationalize this policy, including creating strong standards to ensure that government can deliver these services in a way that is secure, designed around the needs of consumers, and protects privacy.   

One way to get started: Use digital identity work already underway at the Social Security Administration as a template for other agency offerings. SSA just last week released details on their plans to establish a new Electronic Consent Based Social Security Number Verification, or eCBSV, service, with launch set for June 2020.  

Under this new system, SSA will provide a “yes/no” answer as to whether a given name, SSN and date of birth provided by a consumer to a bank at account opening matches what SSA has in its systems—if consumers authorize SSA to provide this answer. It’s a model that could be replicated at other agencies looking to support the new OMB policy.  

Better identity solutions are on the horizon. OMB’s new policy has laid the groundwork for a new array of digital identity solutions that will enable Americans to enjoy the convenience of doing everyday tasks online without compromising privacy and security.

Jeremy Grant is managing director of technology business strategy at Venable and coordinator of the Better Identity Coalition.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.