Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration is advancing plans to usher in a “digital ID” system that seeks to gather and store data on all Americans.
The plan was revealed in the Biden admin’s 2023 National Security Strategy (NSS).
Among other points, the NSS calls for increased taxpayer funding to invest in digital IDs.
The White House is short on detail regarding this issue and privacy implications, however.
Nevertheless, the NSS does mention the Chinese Communist Party-style “biometrics” at least once.
“Strategic Objective 4.5” is a 4-paragraph section in the 35-page document that speaks about supporting the development of a digital identity “ecosystem.”
The Biden admin calls for improved digital identity infrastructure that would produce “a more innovative, equitable, safe and efficient digital economy.”
Like all other justifications for the push to adopt digital IDs, this one mentions conveniences.
It also touts “secure” access to government services and benefits, “trusted” communication, as well as social networks, and improved payment systems.
To achieve these goals, the document calls for the digital ecosystem in question to undergo “fundamental changes.”
The White House reveals that these “changes” involve bringing in the private sector – both through “close cooperation” and public-private undertakings.
The latter involves “real-time, actionable, and multi-directional (data) sharing.”
In the “strategy” documents, the Biden admin complains that today, digital identity solutions lack security and privacy-preserving focus.
They increase the “inefficiency” of both financial activities and “our daily life,” NSS claims.
The current situation is also blamed for so-called “inequity” and a lack of “inclusion.”
To improve security, efficiency, “equity,” and “inclusion,” the strategy proposes solutions based on NIST-led digital identity research.
The solutions would strengthen the security of digital IDs, provide attribute and credential validation services, and update standards for the sake of consistency and interoperability, the Biden admin claims.
The document says that the administration “notes and encourages” focusing on privacy, civil liberties, security, etc.
This is mentioned in the context of the administration “acknowledging” that various states are already coming up with digital driver’s license pilots.
Biometric industry observers note that the strategy seems to be promising tech companies that the White House will not opt for strong regulation of their activities.
It states that while tech companies must be liable for the security of software, it must also be recognized that even advanced software security programs can’t prevent all vulnerabilities.
But even if the “threat” of over-regulating the tech sector is removed, the document suggests that coming up with new standards is something the Biden admin is interested in.
This point raises certain concerns, however.
It implies the government’s involvement in what has so far, at least officially, been the realm of Internet and communications data services giants.