Protecting ID and Stopping Crime with Digital eIDs


Trust in an identity is fundamental to our society, enabling individuals to interact with government agencies, businesses and one another.

Yet in today’s technologically advanced and interconnected world, trust in and protection of identity has become increasingly problematic in the United States:

  • Identity Theft has been the number one consumer complaint
    to the Federal Trade Commission for more than 10 years in a
    row, which estimates as many as 9 million people have their
    identities stolen every year;
  • More than 535 million U.S. personal data records have been breached since 2005 when public disclosures first became required by law in California;
  • Fraudulent use of identities costs government agencies billions; the Department of Justice estimates Medicare fraud alone is $60 billion per year;
  • Stolen or fraudulent identities are so widely used globally in illegal drug trafficking, money laundering and terrorist financing, that policymakers mandate customer identification programs for financial institutions and other regulated companies under the Bank Secrecy Act and USA PATRIOT Act;
  • 40% of registered online identities are fake, according to industry estimates.

Clearly problems with identity theft and fraudulent use of identities are rampant, and they are hurting individuals, businesses and government programs through direct losses to fraud, remediation costs and time.

According to a 2010 report from the U.S. Department of Justice, it takes 130 person-hours to rebuild a digital identity after it has been compromised.

One of the primary factors underlying these problems is the lack of security in government-issued identity credentials. For example, Social Security cards have no security features, even though a Social Security number is one of the primary and most frequently used personal identifiers in America.

This brief from Gemalto discusses the progress in the United States in using and establishing eID digital identity credentialing, and explores other opportunities to use eIDs that are under consideration.


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Protecting ID and Stopping Crime with Digital eIDs
Protecting ID and Stopping Crime with Digital eIDs

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