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National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace: Enhancing Online Choice, Efficiency, Security, and Privacy

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2011
52 pages
This National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace is intended to make online transactions more secure for businesses and consumers.
The proposed Strategy features mechanisms for the public and private sectors to collaborate in raising the level of trust associated with the identities of individuals, organizations, networks, services, and devices involved in online transactions. The Strategy envisions individuals and organizations using secure, efficient, easy-to-use, and interoperable identity solutions to access online services in a manner that promotes confidence, privacy, choice, and innovation. The realization of this vision is the user-centered "Identity Ecosystem" described in this Strategy. It is an online environment where individuals and organizations will be able to trust each other because they follow agreed upon standards for obtaining and authenticating their digital identities and the digital identities of devices. The Identity Ecosystem is designed to provide secure support for transactions that range from anonymous to fully-authenticated and from low- to high-value. The Identity Ecosystem will use privacy-enhancing technology and policies that will inhibit the ability of service providers to link an individual's transaction, thus ensuring that no one service provider can gain a complete picture of an individual's life in cyberspace. By default, only the minimum necessary information will be shared in a transaction. In addition to privacy protections, the Identity Ecosystem will preserve online anonymity, including anonymous browsing. These efforts to enhance privacy and otherwise support civil liberties will be part of and informed by broader privacy policy development efforts occurring throughout the Obama Administration. Participation in the Identity Ecosystem will be voluntary; the government will neither mandate that individuals obtain an Identity Ecosystem credential nor that companies require such credentials from consumers as the only means to interact with them. Other guiding principles of the Identity Ecosystem and its implementation are discussed. Appended Fair Information Practice Principles