ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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NFL Great Emmitt Smith Teams with INCITS to Develop Item Authentication Standards

Washington, DC, Jan 10, 2005

The InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, has established a new technical committee (INCITS/E22) - Item Authentication. The proposal for a new technical committee was initiated by NFL star Emmitt Smith, whose work with Prova Group, Inc. on sports memorabilia authentication has led to his decision to pursue global item authentication standards.

The committee's work is intended to develop an international methodology and process for using RFID technology, multi-media technology and information technology to assist a wide variety of industries in the prevention of fraud. The goal of INCITS/E22's work is to develop standards to authenticate and validate a valued item, and establish an information technology recording and report structure for tracking and creating a valid chain of custody for each item entered into the IT structure.

Emmitt Smith commented on the positive response by INCITS and the initiation of a new Technical Committee: "Through my work with Prova, I have chosen RFID technology to guarantee that my authentic signature is protected from fraud and I have encouraged other athletes and celebrities to support the authentication of memorabilia.

"The next step in the process of significantly curbing the ever-growing gray market of fraudulent activity in sports memorabilia and other valuables and collectibles is to develop a formal information technology standard on item authentication. I thank INCITS for their willingness to coordinate this important work, encourage all interested parties to participate, and look forward to working with the INCITS technical committee."

INCITS executive director Patrick Morris stated, "INCITS is thrilled that Mr. Smith chose our organization to initiate work on item authentication, and it is our expectation that there are many industries, government agencies, and individuals who will be interested in participating in the development of these standards. Standards to authenticate valuable items will be of great benefit in the international work against fraud and will highlight the important role that information technology plays in recording and tracking items in a system for chain of custody."

The first meeting of the INCITS/E22, Item Authentication, was held January 12-13, 2005.

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