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    Center for American Progress Releases Report on ID and Authentication

    Disclaimer: I have worked with the Center for American Progress on identification issues.

    Peter Swire and Cassandra Q. Butts, of the Center for American Progress, have released: The ID Divide: Addressing the Challenges of Identification and Authentication in American Society. The report is a thoughtful look at various identification systems and technologies and the problems that arise from an increasingly ID-based society.

    [M]any millions of […] Americans […] suddenly find themselves on the wrong side of what we call the ID Divide — Americans who lack official identification, suffer from identity theft, are improperly placed on watch lists, or otherwise face burdens when asked for identification. The problems of these uncredentialed people are largely invisible to credentialed Americans, many of whom have a wallet full of proofs of identity. Yet those on the wrong side of the ID Divide are finding themselves squeezed out of many parts of daily life, including finding a job, opening a bank account, flying on an airplane, and even exercising the right to vote.

    The report identifies four important types of problems in this ID divide: 1) “A large population affected by identity theft and data breaches”; 2) “The growing effects of watch lists”; 3) “Specific groups that disproportionately lack IDs today”; and, 4) “The effects of new and stricter ID and matching requirements.”

    In order to combat these, the authors argue that “a strong set of progressive principles for identification systems […] must first determine whether to create the system at all; and if so, how to do it.” Creators of ID systems should “achieve real security or other goals,” have “a high level of accuracy,” “foster inclusion of eligible persons,” be designed with “fairness and equality” in mind, include “effective redress mechanisms,” and ensure the systems are funded in a transparent and equitable way.” Read the report here .

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