ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Panel Continues Discussion of Needed Identity Standards

New York, Sep 25, 2007

On September 24, industry, government, and consumer stakeholders convened in Washington, DC to discuss the need for enhanced standards, compliance programs, and other mechanisms to combat identity theft and fraud. The occasion was the 2007 plenary meeting of the ANSI-BBB Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel (IDSP), a coordinating body working to develop a comprehensive resource of standards, guidelines, and best practices that businesses and other organizations can use to prevent and respond to this marketplace problem. The event marked the near-culmination of a process which began in September 2006 and is targeted for completion by early January 2008.

The agenda was built around concurrent breakout sessions where participants considered and debated the work produced thus far by the panel’s three working groups, focusing respectively on the issuance, exchange, and maintenance of identity data. This included an assessment of existing standards, guidelines, and best practices against a set of identified problems that the groups felt were particularly significant, as well as a dialogue about potential gaps where additional standards may be in order. While the primary focus was on industry cooperation, best practices, and standards-based solutions, participants also looked at the need for additional measures to augment these efforts including technological solutions, consumer education, law enforcement efforts, and legislation as appropriate.

Topics explored by the issuance working group included the creation of government-issued breeder documents (birth certificates and social security cards) and subsequent credentials (driver licenses, ID cards and passports), the usage of these identifiers in a commercial context (to obtain ATM cards, credit cards, engage in on-line banking, etc.), as well as the security of these processes and physical credentials. The exchange working group considered opportunities where a fraudster can exploit weaknesses in authentication systems and inadequate validation of credentials to open new accounts or access existing ones, including attacks on special populations such as children, seniors and the elderly. The maintenance working group placed its attention on shoring up data security management practices, security breach notification, and remediation for the consumer in the event of a data breach.

In addition to the working sessions, an engaging keynote address from Dick Hardt, founder and CEO of Sxip Identity Corp., described his vision for a user-centric identity environment. In such a scenario, individuals would create and manage their online digital identities and would be recognized by the websites that they visit just as if they had produced a photo ID card.

The meeting was attended by approximately 85 participants whose affiliations were representative of the cross-sector composition of the IDSP. The event was made possible through the generous sponsorships of ChoicePoint, Debix, North American Security Products Organization (NASPO), and TransUnion.

Noting that identity theft has topped the Federal Trade Commission’s list of consumer fraud complaints for the seventh consecutive year, ANSI president and CEO Joe Bhatia closed the conference by calling upon industry, government, and consumers to continue to work in partnership to tackle these issues. “Help us to prevent identity theft from coming anywhere near the top of a future list of consumer concerns,” Bhatia urged.

For additional information, please visit the IDSP’s website or contact James McCabe, director of the IDSP initiative,; 212-642-8921.

Jointly sponsored by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel (IDSP) is a cross-sector coordinating body whose objective is to facilitate the timely development, promulgation and use of voluntary consensus standards and guidelines that will equip and assist the private sector, government, and consumers in minimizing the scope and scale of identity theft and fraud.

ANSI Focus on Services Standards