Identity Technologies: Trends, Drivers, and Challenges

Unclassified version of NIC report on identity released today.  Finished in August, but took months to clear. Here's the Executive Summary:

All developed nation states are proceeding with physical identity programs, particularly with research and development (R&D) in academic institutions. Besides the United States, some other major players are China, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Privacy concerns are not as prevalent in some other countries, so they have the potential of outpacing the technological developments of the United States.  

 Users are in the early phases of managing their virtual identities; both the number of online identities and the sophistication of how one maintains and curates such identities are increasing. The concept of virtual identity continues to evolve as more information is digitized and becomes available via the Internet and other online services.  

As analytics evolve and various aspects of data are aggregated and correlated, the capabilities of data scientists will become increasingly important. Equally important are the skills to cultivate analytic outputs that have not already been explored, especially in genomics research.  

Understanding the relationship between physical and virtual identities is becoming more important, especially as it becomes more commonplace to use one’s virtual identity to conduct business in the physical world. Many younger users are savvier at maintaining multiple online identities, which might or might not correlate to their physical identity.  

Preventing spoofing and guaranteeing a positive identification in the virtual space that correlates to a specific physical identity are difficult.  

Convergence of physical and virtual identities will authenticate certain online transactions and communications. However, some people might wish to keep their virtual identities separate and distinct from their physical identities, due to privacy concerns  

The identity associated with a technical platform might or might not be separate from the user—a device can have multiple physical and virtual identities linked to it.