The guidelines, which the Obama administration announced in mid-April, would create, under the National Strategy on Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, a so-called identity ecosystem for "interoperable, secure and reliable credentials."
The strategy, which further develops prospective policies included in a draft proposal published last June, gives private industry the leading role, and government a supporting role, in securing online transactions. Consumers would have one identity, managed either through a token or other technology, on a smart card or on a smartphone.
Such ideas have been bandied about for years, and are generally referred to as "federated IDs." Because the banking world has already developed similar identities for consumers, banks play a leading role in the NSTIC. The system has already gotten a favorable response from the financial industry.