This week at the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) in Nashville, Tenn. (August 16-18), members of the Secure ID Coalition, an affiliation of companies advocating for secure identification (ID) technology standards to protect the privacy of citizens, will be educating policymakers on securing identity information management programs.

The coalition, which includes secure card makers Gemalto and Oberthur Card Systems, as well as chip makers Infineon Technologies, Philips Semiconductors and Texas Instruments, will meet with legislators to share their principles of privacy and their call for best practices and standards. The mission of the coalition and its member companies, which provide digital security solutions for identification documents – including contactless smart cards – is to promote the understanding and appropriate use of smart card technology while maintaining user privacy. Smart card technology offers significant benefits to government and to citizens that include authenticating identity, preventing fraud in government programs and improving data processing efficiency. While contactless smart cards can further improve system reliability and operating efficiencies, they require tailored security practices to protect confidential personal information contained on the cards and in central databases. The coalition supports the use of best practices in implementing these security measures.

The Secure ID Coalition is a resource to policymakers seeking to ensure standards for the protection of citizen identity information. Its members work with public and private entities to design secure solutions in identity management that also address the importance of protecting privacy. The coalition recognizes the importance of citizen privacy rights, namely:

• Privacy of personal information as defined by all relevant regulations and laws.
• Confidence that ID documents have been appropriately secured against threats of fraudulent access to personal information.
• The right to know what data are contained in electronic ID documents, how that data will be collected, secured and transmitted, the presence of RF technology in ID docs, and when, where and why an RF device is being read.