NSTIC, STORK 2.0 & The GSMA to Address ID Interoperability In Market with Over 22 Billion Credentials in Circulation

12 Feb 2014

With an addressable market in excess of 22 billion (a combination of government ID, payment and SIM cards) and over 600 million broadband subscriptions worldwide there is a clear calling and emphasis being placed on the creation of international standards for securing digital identities. Whether these identities are tied to a physical card or an online identity, efforts are being placed to not only bring wider standardization to the market, but to additionally enable cross border interoperability, providing a trusted platform from which cross border authentication can be enabled.

The desire to enable cross border interoperability to break down international barriers is there, but how to best address this issue is the big question. The current levels of fragmentation are a clear stumbling block which is further exacerbated by the different approaches taken by individual companies as well as the differing national laws, security and privacy levels, infrastructure and standards used within each country.

The creation of an international ID standard for everyone to adhere could help, but it’s unlikely that countries who have already invested heavily into identity programs will want to significantly reinvest, limiting uptake to those nations looking at migrating to next generation credentials and new projects. It is for this reason ABI Research believes that an international standard may struggle to gain any traction and unlikely to play a significant role in enabling cross border interoperability.

Research analyst, Phil Sealy comments, “Too many variables remain within the government ID market. With the exception of passports, each country’s identity solutions can be completely different, designed for national use, with often little consideration to cross border interoperability. ABI Research believes that initiatives such as STORK 2.0, the work being completed by the GSMA on the mobile identity front, and NSTIC are best placed to address the interoperability issue. Rather than the creation of an international standard, these initiatives are looking at how to embrace all credential and solution types, defining or producing best practices from which countries can follow and adopt to create the trust framework required for cross border use.”

These findings are part of ABI Research’s “Standards and Initiatives for Secure Identity” report, located within the Government & Healthcare ID Technologies Research Service.

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