Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) has reintroduced the “Improving Digital Identity Act,” a bipartisan bill that would increase the federal government’s involvement in the digital identity ecosystem. The bill is set to be approved by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
We obtained a copy of the bill for you here.
The bill seeks to require the federal government to use its authority to help citizens “prove who they are online” through the provision of optional ID validation services, which “augment private sector digital identity and authentication solutions.”
The bill would also require the creation of a task force on digital identity and a grant program at the DHS to support the development of interoperable identity verification systems at the local and state levels.
Expressing her support for the bill, Committee Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said, “a secure digital identity infrastructure is an essential foundation to American economic and national security.”
However, the committee’s ranking Republican Rep. James Comer (R-KY) opposed the grant program provision in the bill and the timeline of the bill (the task force has three years to release a final report.)
“Improved and expanded digital identity technologies may well play an important role in reducing fraud, but this bill would only give the appearance of action,” he said.
A similar bill was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ).
In a press release, Lummis said that “it doesn’t make sense that Americans have to constantly overshare sensitive identity information with government agencies and businesses, which are honeypots all too often targeted by hackers and identity thieves.”
The bill in the Senate has a few differences from the original one introduced in the House. The one in the Senate insists that access to digital ID verification should be equitable.
“The effectiveness of existing government digital identity approaches presents causes for concern, particularly with the use of facial recognition technology in federal, state and local government contacts with private sector companies,” said Maloney.