Doug Bedell — December 27, 2011, 11:02 am

Visa-like Identity Cards Coming to Access Federal Agencies Online

It’s likely to take years to accomplish, but federal officials are moving to a secure online identity system in which – like a credit card – you’ll have one on-line identity for access to all federal agencies.

The envisioned system is known as “federated identity management.”  “Currently,” explains Nextgov,  “Internet users must create a new account for every service they want to access online, requiring that they deposit personal information all over the place. Sites must shoulder the costs of setting up and maintaining their own independent ID validation systems, and visitors must remember multiple passwords to interact with each agency or business.”

The new system apparently will require the creation of digital identity management companies, very much on the order of Visa and MasterCard today.

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