Identity management requires team effort

Federal contractors are poised to make breakthroughs in identity management, but they need to collaborate more closely on research, according to members of the newly created Center for Applied Identity Management Research (CAIMR).

Cogent Systems Inc., IBM Corp. and LexisNexis are among the contractors working with the Defense Department, the U.S. Secret Service and Indiana University in the nonprofit research partnership.

"We are in a watershed time of understanding the nature of identity," said John Hermansen, chief technology officer at IBM's Global Name Recognition division, at a news conference today at the National Press Club in Washington. "We know people own it, they have it, but it also is defined by relationships. Understanding those attributes will allow us to apply identity management more actively."

Little research has been done in this area, Hermansen added. For example, government agencies and consumers are concerned about the threat of identity theft due to the sharing of their Social Security numbers. He said he hopes research can help address those concerns.

CAIMR participants intend to conduct research into a wide range of identity management issues, including public safety, identity theft, cybercrime, human trafficking, financial fraud and e-commerce fraud. The sponsors are government agencies, corporations and consumer groups.

"CAIMR is a trusted public/private partnership of organizations focused on solving some of the nation's most challenging identity management problems," said Gary Gordon, the center's executive director, in a news release.

Other partners in the project are Dragnet Solutions, Equifax, the Identity Theft Assistance Center, the Information Technology Association of America, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the University of Texas at Austin, Wells Fargo and Co. and the U.S. Marshals Service.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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