Identity Management

Trusted ID programs garner $7 million in NIST grants

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology announced $7 million in grants to five pilot programs supported by the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace initiative.

NIST will fund five NSTIC-backed U.S. organizations in an effort to develop and pilot identity protection and verification systems that might later be used by individuals, organizations or agencies.

NSTIC, the Obama administration's attempt to generate collaboration between private- and public-sector identity management experts and advocacy groups, backed five similar pilot programs that launched successfully in 2012 after $9 million in grants from NIST.

"These new NSTIC pilots span multiple sectors, benefitting children, parents and veterans, as well as online shoppers and social media users of all ages," said NIST's Jeremy Grant, senior executive advisor for identity management. Grant also serves as the head of the NSTIC National Program Office at NIST.

"Collectively, these five pilots will drive innovation in online identity management, helping to foster a marketplace of more secure, convenient, privacy-enhancing identity solutions available to all Americans online," Grant said.

The grantees are: California-based Exponent, $1.5 million; Georgia Tech Research Corp., $1.7 million; and three Virginia-based companies: Privacy Vaults Online Inc., $1.6 million; ID.me Inc., $1.2 million, and Transglobal Secure Collaboration Participation, Inc., $1.3 million.

The pilot programs will each be geared toward improving different aspects of identity management.ID.me, for example, will develop trusted identity solutions for veterans and family members accessing sensitive information from government agencies, financial institutions and health care organizations online. Its solution will make use of the new Federal Cloud Credential Exchange, allowing seamless transitions from the online pages of federal organizations. Several agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, are on board with FCCX, which will be piloted itself over the next year.

"The Obama administration is committed to supporting public-private partnerships that both enhance consumer privacy and ensure the Internet remains a driver of innovation and economic growth," said Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. "The grants announced today will support privacy-enhancing technologies that help make Internet transactions more secure, including better protection from fraud and identity theft, and are an important step toward giving American companies and consumers greater confidence in doing business online."

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

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