NSTIC's Identity Ecosystem: True Effect on Your Privacy

Identity Finder's Recommendations to Improve Identity Theft Prevention, Privacy, and Security

Apr 18, 2011, 08:00 ET from Identity Finder

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Identity Finder, LLC (www.identityfinder.com) today announces the release of a detailed whitepaper that examines possible impacts of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) on Privacy.  Identity Finder supports the aspirations of NSTIC, but warns that success is far from assured.  NSTIC faces multiple unresolved hurdles to implementing privacy and security in a de-centralized, national framework of interoperable identity systems.

If done well, an ideal NSTIC Identity Ecosystem could establish:

  • High levels of identity assurance online, increasing trust between Users and service providers
  • More secure online transactions
  • Innovation and new services
  • Improved privacy and anonymity
  • Increased convenience for Users and savings for service providers

Through extensive analysis, Identity Finder has found that to successfully implement its visions of privacy, security, and secure identities, NSTIC must call for Federal regulation that will:

  • Hold all Identity Ecosystem Participants to legal and technical standards which implement Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) and baseline privacy and security protocols
  • Create incentives for businesses to not commoditize human identity
  • Compensate for an individual's unequal bargaining power when establishing privacy policies
  • Subject Identity Providers to similar requirements to the Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Train individuals on how to properly safeguard their Identity Medium to avoid identity theft
  • Ensure that consumers and advocates have a meaningful voice in the development of NSTIC policy

Identity Finder's Chief Privacy Officer, Aaron Titus, warns, "We all have social security cards and it took decades to realize that we shouldn't carry them around in our wallets.  Now we will have a much more powerful identity credential that lets us carry it in our wallets, phones, laptops, tablets and other computing devices. Although NSTIC aspires to improve privacy, it stops short of recommending regulations to protect privacy.  The stakes are high, and if implemented improperly, an unregulated Identity Ecosystem could have a devastating impact on individual privacy."

If NSTIC fails to implement the necessary regulations, the resulting Identity Ecosystem could turn into a free-for-all Identity marketplace, and create the following risks:

  • Powerful identity credentials which, if lost or stolen will enable hyper-identity theft
  • A false sense of control, privacy, and security among Users
  • New ways to covertly collect Users' personal information
  • New markets in which to commoditize human identity
  • Few consumer protections against abuse or sharing personal information with third parties
  • No default legal recourse against participants who abuse personal information without consent

Todd Feinman, CEO of Identity Finder, says, "Our Company's mission has always been to reduce identity theft by letting people find and protect personally identifiable information.  To the extent NSTIC reduces the use of Social Security Numbers in the marketplace, we support it.  However, to the extent it creates new opportunities for identity fraud, we suggest improvements and regulations. Without proper regulatory safeguards, NSTIC may do more harm than good.  We look forward to helping the Department of Commerce implement smart policy that will protect consumer privacy."

A free copy of the whitepaper can be downloaded at: http://www.identityfinder.com/us/Business/Downloads/WhitePapers

About Identity Finder

The company's technology provides users the ability to prevent identity theft and data leakage by searching and securing sensitive data that could be used to commit identity fraud. They have quickly grown to become a leader in identity protection and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) by helping millions of consumers, small businesses, and enterprises across the world. For more information, visit www.identityfinder.com and www.identityfinder.org.


NSTIC is a government-coordinated initiative to create a national private-sector digital identity system. Today the Department of Commerce released the NSTIC strategy document, which outlines a vision for an "Identity Ecosystem" in which privacy and security are enhanced.  For more information, visit www.nist.gov/nstic.

SOURCE Identity Finder