Smart Card Alliance Forms Identity Council To Increase Awareness And Education On Identity Issues And Technology

Smart Card Alliance Forms Identity Council To Increase Awareness And Education On Identity Issues And Technology

Council releases paper on top 10 identity issues and how to address them

Princeton Junction, NJ, February 13, 2006–Identity touches on many everyday activities, including air travel, banking, driving, obtaining medical services and accessing buildings and computer systems. As such, it is vital for identity information to be trusted and kept secure in order to prevent crimes involving false or stolen identities that can cause sizeable security risks and financial losses.

As secure identities have become a critically important issue for citizens, governments and enterprises in the information age, the Smart Card Alliance has formed an Identity Council that will work to promote the need for better use of technologies, policies and usage solutions regarding human identity information.

To help explain the Council’s charter and mission, the group has issued an informative, free white paper entitled The Top 10 Hot Identity Topics. The paper discusses top challenges associated with current identity systems and offers perspectives on how these critical issues can be addressed through policy, identity proofing processes and technology solutions.

Key issues addressed in the white paper include:

  • Identity theft – when you don’t own your identity
  • The balance between privacy and security over identity information
  • Technology’s role in protecting identity
  • How to prove your identity–the problem with breeder documents and identity verification

“Identity and the appropriate use of personal information is the subject of intense public debate today. Within the identity protection and security industry, we face not only growing challenges related to protection of online consumer and business information, but also challenges related to making accurate, relevant information available to corporations, government and the public,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Alliance. “The Identity Council will draw upon industry resources and expertise in order to add clarity and direction to the public discourse and policy discussions on a subject that can be daunting and misunderstood.”

Some of the primary objectives of the Identity Council are: maintaining an informed and active public voice that defines the positive aspects of identity technology solutions and responds to any public concerns regarding appropriate usage of identity technology; being an educational and informational resource for industry on technology solutions and their impact on identity management; and representing the smart card industry on appropriate methods of gathering, managing, protecting, and distributing secure identity information for use in government and commercial applications.

The Council will also help to unite a very diverse identity security industry, including companies that provide smart cards, biometrics, identity management systems and logical and physical access solutions through collaborative projects and work group meetings focusing on identity issues. Major industry issues that will be discussed by the Identity Council include RFID and contactless smart card technology differentiation, secure credentialing, multi-factor authentication, driver’s licenses, travel identity, federated identity solutions, and standards and interoperability.

Twenty Smart Card Alliance member organizations are currently participating in the Identity Council, with Martin Dugan, Viisage, and Neville Pattinson, Axalto, the initial Council co-chairs. Contributors to the new white paper include: Axalto, Inc., Booz Allen Hamilton, Datacard Group, Fargo Electronics, Hitachi America Ltd., IBM, International Biometric Industry Association, Saflink, Texas Instruments and Viisage.

Identity Council participation is open to any Smart Card Alliance member who wishes to contribute to the Council projects.

Alliance Industry Councils

The Identity Council is one of several new Smart Card Alliance councils, a new type of focused group within the overall structure of the Alliance. These councils have been created to foster increased industry collaboration within a specified industry or market segment, producing tangible results while speeding smart card adoption and industry growth.

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to accelerate the acceptance of smart card technology.

Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit