President Barack Obama has set his sights on online fraud and theft with the introduction of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC).
With the NSTIC, Obama is looking to create an identity ecosystem. Willing participants will obtain a single credential such as unique software on a smartphone or a smart card that creates a one-time digital password. This credential will allow the user to log into any website.
Because there are various forms of credentials, the Obama administration says there will be no single, centralized database of information. The credential doesn't have to be used all the time; and if the user prefers it can only be used in sensitive situations such as banking transactions.
Interoperability is the goal of the NTISC, says Obama. Giving consumers the chance to a chance to create a single source of web protection; rather than store countless passwords and usernames online. This in turn, will allow for better protection from fraud, which the administration states can cost the average consumer $631. It can also take on average of 130 hours to recover from identity theft.
The Internet has transformed how we communicate and do business, opening up markets, and connecting our society as never before. But it has also led to new challenges, like online fraud and identity theft, that harm consumers and cost billions of dollars each year, President Obama said in a statement.
The Obama administration says this credential will allow small businesses to take their business online because it allows them to avoid the cost of building its own login system. Consumers would be able to connect with the new business with this credential and avoid having to create another username and password.
By making online transactions more trustworthy and better protecting privacy, we will prevent costly crime, we will give businesses and consumers new confidence, and we will foster growth and untold innovation. That's why this initiative is so important for our economy, Obama said.
Obama has made web security an important issue during his Presidency. In 2009, he introduced the first ever Cyber Security Coordinator, which is former Microsoft executive Howard Schmidt. He has also outlined an extensive cyber security plan around the same time.