The PRIVATE WiFi Blog

Search By Topic:

Popular Topics:



PRIVATE WiFi

The PRIVATE WiFi Blog

News & Features | Jan 18th, 2011

Identity Theft: Privacy Concerns Fly As Commerce Department Plans to Create Internet IDs

Elaine Rigoli

Big brother or enhanced cybersecurity?

commerce department

It's a toss-up between the two terms as Americans debate President Obama's decision to choose the U.S. Commerce Department to assign unique Internet IDs to better secure and protect consumers' online transactions.

Known officially as the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC, not to be confused with 90s boy-band 'NSYNC), the goal of the program is to keep consumers safe from identity theft crimes.

Full details of the new NSTIC program have yet to be released, though the government released a draft in June 2010 (click here to review the full PDF document) that may offer a glimpse into how the Commerce Department would structure its program.

However, there are already people questioning whether the Commerce Department can guard users' privacy and security above the government's own interests.

For example, should a group whose purpose is to oversee how Americans buy, sell, and trade goods the best choice to assign these Internet IDs?

E-Commerce and Identity Theft

Commerce Department Secretary Gary Locke, who announced the NSTIC program late last week, said this is not the equivalent of a national ID card. With e-commerce estimated at $10 trillion dollars annually, Locke says the privacy-enhancing "identity ecosystem" would minimize online identity theft and safeguard online transactions since less personal information will be collected and stored for each transaction.

Locke, who spoke at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research event (click here to watch the conference YouTube video), revealed that:

"The Internet still faces something of a 'trust' issue, and it will not reach its full potential until users and consumers feel more secure than they do today when they go online. The threats on the Internet seem to be proliferating just as fast as the opportunities; data breaches, malware, ID theft, and spam are just some of the commonly known invasions of a user's privacy and security."

Indeed, Fast Company tech blogger Kalyia Hamlin points out that the NSTIC program could reduce the number of passwords people need and streamline authentication measures to allow users to confirm that the site they are intending to do business with is legitimate.

Private Sector Weighs In

Yet some feel that the private sector -- not the government -- should create this Internet ID.

Phil Bond, the CEO of TechAmerica, told the Phoenix Business Journal that "the tech industry must drive implementation of the national strategy."

Jim Dempsey, a technology and privacy expert, told CNET News: "The government cannot create that identity infrastructure. If it tried to, it wouldn't be trusted."

The American Civil Liberties Union dislikes the idea altogether, pointing out that a government effort to combat cybercrime could erase online privacy and anonymity. The ACLU's Public Education Director Jay Stanley writes in The Huffington Post that "the ability to figure out who has done something bad after the fact is the same online as it is offline — it can only be assured if everyone is tracked, all of the time, and that is not an acceptable tradeoff in a free society."

The Daily Progress in Charlottesville, Virginia, was perhaps a bit more blunt: "And we saw how well that security thing worked out with WikiLeaks, didn’t we?"

Where do you stand on this potentially controversial issue?

Associated Topics:

Associated Topics:

Comments

Related Posts

New Hotel WiFi Vulnerability

Thought Leadership
Alok Kapur | Apr 9th, 2015

Earlier this year, the FTC declared a critical announcement for travelers: hotel WiFi is dangerous. Many people assume that because they are paying for it the network must be safe, but that is a dangerous assumption. Hotel WiFi networks are completely insecure; the bad news is that a new exposure in hotel WiFi has just been found. Read more to find out how you can keep yourself protected. Read More

Cyber Security Training Just As Important at C-Level

Thought Leadership
Eva Velasquez | Mar 24th, 2015

The need for better online safety training to prevent data breaches is a hot topic right now. Coupled with stronger computer and network policies, companies want to prevent the hacking events that leave businesses susceptible to a data breach. While it’s no secret that employees in both the private sector and government service can unintentionally expose organizations to hackers, what is surprising is a report by Wombat Security that shows that 33% of CEOs fell for phishing attacks that led to network access. Why are they falling for this kind of internet activity? Read More

E-filing: The Fastest and Safest Way to File Taxes?

Thought Leadership
Eva Velasquez | Mar 9th, 2015

E-filing your annual return to the IRS offers speed and convenience and when coupled with industry-approved software that can plug in the values for you, a lot of the headaches traditionally associated with doing your taxes are eliminated. However, there are some potential dangers that you should be aware of, such as insecure public WiFi networks and online tax fraud. Read More

FTC Says Hotel WiFi is Dangerous

Thought Leadership
Kent Lawson | Feb 23rd, 2015

Recently, the FTC posted an article on their website stating that hotel WiFi is dangerous and that users should not assume that just because they pay for Internet access that their connection is secure.

We couldn’t agree more. In fact, I have been stating this fact since we launched PRIVATE WiFi nearly five years ago.  This is an important topic because hotel traveler’s rank WiFi access at hotels as the number one amenity that they look for when booking hotel rooms. Read More

X

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletters

Your email has been added to our system. You will be e-mailed shortly with a request to confirm your membership. Please make sure to click the link in that message to confirm your subscription.