Exploring Identity Verification Solutions and Identity Theft Prevention

Earlier this week the FTC announced in a press release an identity theft prevention workshop they are hosting April 23 – 24.

“On April 23 and 24, 2007, the Federal Trade Commission will host a public workshop, ‚ÄúProof Positive: New Directions in ID Authentication,‚Äù to explore methods to reduce identity theft through enhanced authentication. The workshop will facilitate a discussion among public- sector, private-sector, and consumer representatives, and will focus on technological and policy requirements for developing better authentication processes, including the incorporation of privacy standards and consideration of consumer usability issues.
The agency is seeking public comments in planning the agenda for the workshop, and is inviting parties interested in participating as panelists to notify the agency. The agency invites comments on ways to improve authentication processes to reduce identity theft, including, but not limited to, comments on the following:
How can individuals prove their identities when establishing them in the first place?
What are some current or emerging authentication technologies or methods – for example biometrics, public key infrastructure, and knowledge-based authentication – and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
To what extent do these technologies meet consumer needs, such as ease of use, and to what extent do they raise privacy concerns?
Requests to participate as panelists must be received by March 9, 2007. Requests may be submitted electronically at idmworkshop@ftc.gov; or by mail to the Office of the Secretary, Room H-135 (Annex N) 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.
Comments also may be submitted by mail or on the Internet at https://secure.commentworks.com/ftc-idmworkshop. Comments must be received by March 23, 2007.”

This looks like a very interesting and enlightening event!
I am looking forward to seeing the results and proceedings. Wish I was able to attend.
I just finished a project for a multinational organization to create a plan and process for verifying the identities of customers on websites over the phone, and I know many other organizations are also actively addressing this issue as well. This can be a challenging issue to effecrtively address.
With so many social engineering exploits going on, and increasing ways to exploit vulnerabilities in websites and applications, it is very important to have strong identity verification processes in place.
If any of you are dealing with these very important issues, and you have time on your calendar and can be in the area, this would definitely be something to attend.
Their official notice does not indicate there is a cost to attend; which would make sense since U.S. taxpayers fund such events. However, it is likely there is a limit on attendance, so it would be wise to get your reservation in as soon as possible if you want to attend.
Notice also that even if you cannot attend, you can submit information (research, opinions, experiences, etc.) to be used within the workshop.

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