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News Link • Government

The Government Has an Online Identity Plan for You

• Erica Naone via Technology Review
Most people identify themselves online by juggling a long list user names and passwords. Most industry experts agree that this approach is hopelessly broken.

A few technologies have been invented to address the problem of online account overload, for example, the open standard OpenID, which lets people use a single credential to log in to multiple sites. Companies are also vying to fill the gap--Facebook, for instance, offers technology that lets people log into other Web sites using their Facebook credentials.

Now the U.S. government is hoping to step in and improve the state of online identity management. In a draft recently posted online, the Department of Homeland Security outlined a possible National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace--a document that suggests how the government could facilitate a system for managing identities. The system could be used not only by government sites such as the Internal Revenue Service, but by other websites, including commercial ones.

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