Gov't-Backed User Validation System likened to Online Drivers License

Dennis Faas's picture

Many people are still apprehensive about sending out their personal information online, for fear of having their identity stolen by a profit-seeking hacker.

Hoping to reduce the amount of "cyberphobia" in America, the White House is proposing a new initiative that looks to improve the current state of user authentication.

Authentication Method to use Multiple Confirmation Methods

While initial reports are limited, many believe that the new authentication system proposed by the White House would use at least two different ID confirmation methods.

One theory suggests that an encryption chip might be embedded into a person's phone, while others believe that smart cards and biometric identifiers (like fingerprints) may be used to confirm high-end transactions.

Currently, fingerprinting devices like the Eikon Digital Privacy Manager are available for everyday end users at a relatively low price point (about $47 at the time of writing, seen below).

These devices can be programmed to work with automated website password managers like RoboForm (in fact, this particular fingerprint hardware model is recommended by RoboForm).

Using this type of hardware / software encryption is by far one of the best methods for automatically logging into a secure website using a unique password (for every website) without having to remember any of them.

Banks Use Two-Factor Authentication System

Banks currently use a two-factor authentication system to confirm the identities of new customers when they open an account and later, issue depositors ATM cards.

Google also boasts a free system, called the "Google Identity Toolkit" for website operators who wish to shift users from passwords to third-party authentication.

Some have even likened the suggested changes to carrying a "virtual driver's license" because Internet users would use the same secure credentials on a number of websites.

In other words, an individual would not have to complete page-after-page of age-verification surveys since the authentication key would already provide a secure site with this information. (Source:

Online Commerce Campaign Likely to Attract Hackers

Foreseeable problems with a system of this nature might include verifiers potentially selling user data for a profit or sharing confidential information with law enforcement officials without a warrant.

As Aaron Titus, the chief privacy officer at Identity Finder, stated, "It took us decades to realize that we shouldn't carry our Social Security cards in our wallets. Carrying around cyber IDs seems even riskier." (Source:

Still, with the proposed plans being the source for Washington debate, it is not certain whether the agenda will ever get put into practice.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet