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Big Brother's Love: White House Proposes A Universal Credential For Web

• npr.org/blogs
 
The White House proposed a plan, today, that would create a single, secure online identification system. The proposal, titled National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), aims to make online transactions more trustworthy. "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," President Barack Obama said in a statement. "That's why this initiative is so important for our economy." So what does this mean in real life? What's envisioned by the White House is an end to passwords, a system in which a consumer will have a piece of software on a smartsphone or some kind of card or token, which they can swipe on their computers to log on to a website. The White House adds: Instead of having to remember dozens of passwords, the consumer can use their single credential to log into any website, with more security than passwords alone provide. Since consumers will be able to choose among a diverse market of different providers of credentials, there will be no single, centralized database of information. Consumers can use their credential to prove their identity when they're carrying out sensitive transactions, like banking, and can stay anonymous when they are not.

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