Explaining International IT Application Leadership: Electronic Identification Systems

September 15, 2011
Discussing a report assessing national e-ID systems and what the U.S. can learn from early adopters.

It has been more than a decade since President Clinton signed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN), but little has been done since then to create an electronic ID system. Are we ever going to have the ability to securely sign electronic documents and authenticate to online services? Countries around the world are implementing electronic ID systems to enable their citizens to benefit more from the digital economy, to vote via the Internet and to combat identity theft. But the United States lags woefully behind. Recently, the White House released the "National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace" (NSTIC) with the intent of creating an electronic ID system and to spur innovation in online identification. Will that strategy be enough?

To understand how the U.S. can invigorate di