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Ref: New organization works to employ best practices to respond to identity theft

Businses Wire

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Business Wire - Press Release
New Global Consortium to Establish Best Practices for Identity Assurance

10.16.07, 11:45 AM ET

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Launched today as a global not-for-profit initiative, the Center for Ethical Identity Assurance (CEIA) is an alliance of industry, government and academic partners formed to develop and promote standards for identity credentials as well as supporting business practices that are compatible for a diverse range of industries and geographies.

Key among CEIA's initiatives is the development of a draft Consumer Bill of Rights to protect personal information and safeguard against identity fraud. CEIA will also sponsor research and educational symposia on related issues.

Identity-related crimes are on the rise and will continue to impact global economies. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission reports identity fraud as the number one consumer complaint each year. In the United Kingdom alone, the Home Office Identity Fraud Steering Committee's latest estimate is that identity fraud costs the economy GBP 1.7 billion annually.

As consumers, businesses and governments increase their reliance on personal identity verification, and adopt strong forms of authentication such as smart cards, radio frequency identification (RFID) and biometrics to enable access to critical services and transactions, there is a pressing need for these systems and processes to become trusted and trustworthy. At the same time, to encourage trust and acceptance, there must be high levels of identity assurance for business and government alike.

Currently, different countries and industries support different best practices and standards for identity credentialing but little has been done to harmonize these standards globally.

The concept for CEIA was first proposed in a 2006 keynote address at the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) where Unisys CEO Joseph McGrath presented policy proposals on the need for standards around procedures and practices in global identity authentication. McGrath initiated a call to action to the IT industry and WCIT delegates overwhelmingly accepted the policy proposals.

Co-founders Unisys and AIM Global are joined in this initiative by other organizations including Biometric Signature ID, Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), HID Global, Identity Alliance, Information Assurance Advisory Council (IAAC), Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, National Emergency Preparedness Coordination Council, Ponemon Institute, R&H Security Consulting, Dallas County Commissioners Court, University College London, University of Canberra, University of Texas at Dallas, and the University of Warwick.

"Unisys looks forward to helping drive the debate on an important global initiative to help improve the level of trust in identity credentials and to innovate around identity-enabled services. There are many outstanding organizations, standards and initiatives already underway and our focus is to help bring various groups together to focus on a global code of conduct and to address education, advocacy and standards," said Nicholas Evans, vice president and general manager at Unisys, and CEIA president.

According to AIM Global president, Daniel Mullen, "The use of technology for identity verification is only as good as the policies and practices implemented by business and governmental users. It is critical to formulate robust and consistent policies that take advantage of the various technology options. As a global trade association representing manufacturers and vendors of all of these technologies, AIM Global is uniquely positioned to help drive the development of such best practices."

CEIA will operate as a program of the Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility - AIM Global. -0- *T CEIA's Research and Affiliate Labs Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) - Affiliate University of Canberra (Australia) University College London (UK) University of Texas at Dallas (US) The University of Warwick (UK) *T

These labs will conduct academic research and inquiry in partnership with CEIA to support its focus and research agenda related to the business, technology, and public policy and privacy aspects of identity assurance.

For more information about CEIA, visit

About the Center for Ethical Identity Assurance

CEIA is a unique partnership among global companies, government organizations, industry associations, and several of the world's leading research universities. The Center's mission is to establish and promote globally interoperable standards and best practices for identity assurance of physical identity credentials (leveraging technologies such as smartcards, RFID and biometrics) including focus areas of:

-- Issuer certification and accreditation

-- Identity proofing and registration

-- Credential creation and issuance

-- Credential lifecycle management

-- Interoperability

-- Risk assessment and management

-- Public policy and privacy

Our vision is to lead global society and the Internet to its full potential, with organizations more secure and individual identities more trusted, by promoting and developing interoperable technologies and best practices in the use of physical identity credentials across industry and geographic boundaries.

AIM Global will provide centralized administrative support and services for CEIA. In addition, CEIA will work with the IAAC, which will oversee administrative support for the Center's European operations

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