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    NIST Awards Grants to Improve Online Security and Privacy

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology announced that it was awarding “more than $7 million in grants to support the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC). The funding will enable five U.S. organizations to develop pilot identity protection and verification systems that offer consumers more privacy, security and convenience online.” NIST said, “NSTIC is an initiative that aims to support collaboration between the private sector, advocacy groups and public-sector agencies. The selected pilot proposals advance the NSTIC vision that individuals and organizations adopt secure, efficient, easy-to-use, and interoperable identity credentials to access online services in a way that promotes confidence, privacy, choice and innovation.”

    The selected pilots include:

    Exponent (Calif.): $1,589,400
    The Exponent pilot will issue secure, easy-to-use and privacy-enhancing credentials to users to help secure applications and networks at a leading social media company, a health care organization and the U.S. Department of Defense. Exponent and partners Gemalto and HID Global will deploy two types of identity verification: the use of mobile devices that leverage so-called “derived credentials” stored in the device’s SIM card and secure wearable devices, such as rings and bracelets. Solutions will be built upon standards, ensuring an interoperable system that can be easily adopted by a wide variety of organizations and companies. […]

    Privacy Vaults Online, Inc. (PRIVO) (Va.): $1,611,349
    Children represent a unique challenge when it comes to online identity. Parents need better tools to ensure safe family use of the Internet, while online service providers need to comply with the requirements of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) when they deal with minors under the age of 13. PRIVO will pilot a solution that provides families with COPPA-compliant, secure, privacy-enhancing credentials that will enable parents and guardians to authorize their children to interact with online services in a more privacy-enhancing and usable way. Project partners, including one of the country’s largest online content providers and one of the world’s largest toy companies, will benefit from a streamlined consent process while simplifying their legal obligations regarding the collection and storage of children’s data.

    ID.me, Inc. (Va.): $1,204,957
    ID.me, Inc.’s Troop ID will develop and pilot trusted identity solutions that will allow military families to access sensitive information online from government agencies, financial institutions and health care organizations in a more privacy-enhancing, secure and efficient manner. Troop ID lets America’s service members, veterans, and their families verify their military affiliation online across a network of organizations that provides discounts and benefits in recognition of their service. Today, more than 200,000 veterans and service members use Troop ID to access benefits online. As part of its pilot, Troop ID will enhance its current identity solution to obtain certification at Level of Assurance 3 from the U.S. General Services Administration’s Trust Framework Providers program, enabling Troop ID credential holders to use their solution not only at private-sector sites, but also when interacting online with U.S. government agencies through the recently announced Federal Cloud Credential Exchange (FCCX). Key project partners include federal government agencies and a leading financial institution serving the nation’s military community and its families.

    Read the full announcement to learn about other privacy-protective programs that have been awarded NIST grants.

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