Report suggests ID alternatives

Wednesday, 11 December 2002, 1:10 PM EST

A national identification system is one approach to strengthening identity security, but a white paper published by a coalition of government organizations also proposes a "confederated" system in which Americans could use multiple identifiers for clusters of agencies and/or businesses.

This approach would enable individuals to sign on to an account once and have access to different accounts among several entities they commonly transact with, according to the National Electronic Commerce Coordinating Council's (NECCC) white paper.

Agencies and companies would have to develop policies, procedures and an interoperable technical framework to support such an arrangement. The advantage to this system over a national ID system is that no single identifier would follow an individual everywhere. Another advantage is that there is no single point of failure like that in a national ID system, in which there would be centralized control.

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