Executive Director's Letter
Dear members and friends of the Alliance:
Cherry blossoms weren’t the only things emerging from a long dormant period and blooming in Washington, DC this spring. One of the longest standing federal smart card identity programs – TWIC, the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program, has finally made its way out of the myriad of political obstacles, government appropriations battles, program management reorganizations, and technical evaluations. It now appears ready to move forward, at least at seaports around the country. This week, the Federal Register posted the notice of proposed rulemaking from the Department of Homeland Security on behalf of the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard. This notice describes the specific details for the program covering merchant mariners who require unescorted access to secure areas at maritime facilities and onboard vessels, requiring them to submit to a comprehensive criminal background check and apply for a FIPS 201-compliant TWIC smart card. The cost of the card will be $139, which includes the cost of the background check. Jack Schwartz, program manager for TWIC, spoke at the May IAB meeting and stated that the U.S. Coast Guard will start issuing cards by the end of 2006 and that an estimated 850,000 cards would be issued over an 18 month period. TSA expects to put out an RFP shortly for management of the TWIC program’s identity management backend.
This month Smart Card Talk spoke with Willy Dommen, Principal, Booz Allen Hamilton. Mr. Dommen has over twenty years experience in all facets of systems engineering, including economic analysis, technical feasibility studies, electrical and mechanical design, and development of procurement and contracting strategies. Currently, Mr. Dommen is a leader in Booz Allen's Electronic Payment and Smart Card business and is one of the firm's leaders for the Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 12 initiative. He is a key contributor on smart card and transit fare payment assignments around the world, including Australia, Singapore, London, New York, Washington DC, and Los Angeles, all of which started from the work he completed for Metropolitan Transportation Commission's TransLink ® program in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Mr. Dommen's client and project lists include development of a national health care card program in Italy, leading edge technology evaluation and strategy development for financial services companies, and RFID strategy development for global manufacturers of electronic systems. Mr. Dommen authors articles and presents internationally on micro- and mobile-payment, smart card and RFID systems. Mr. Dommen earned an MBA from the University of San Francisco. He also has a BS in Economics and International Finance in Zurich, Switzerland, and has completed a four year degree in Manufacturing Technology in Switzerland.
Feature of the Month
Who Are You?--The Confusion over Identity Information and Determining Who You Are
Who are we? In a societal context our identity is established through a series of events and relationships, starting with one's birth, along with the resulting documentation. Our identity is represented to others through a patchwork of this identity documentation - original paper documents (or copies), ID cards, driver's licenses, passports, and other types of credentials. In today's world, managing these items and keeping them safe is an increasingly difficult challenge for all of us.
How Many Identities Do We Have and Need?
All of us have and use numerous identities in our everyday lives. Some examples are:
- Professional identity: identity information used by employers
- Financial identity: identity information used by financial institutions, such as credit card information
- Citizen identity: identity information used by governments, such as passport information.
- Healthcare identity: identity information used by the healthcare industry
- Online browsing/email identity: identity information used to access information on the Internet, such as usernames and passwords
- Ecommerce identity: identity information used to carry out electronic transactions, such as account numbers, passwords, shipping addresses and credit card information
Technological and process solutions are available that can create more manageable and secure identity tools. Adopting these solutions can ease the fears we all have about identity theft and fraud and implement more efficient identity transactions. To understand these solutions, however, we must understand some of the challenges that underlie the concept of identity.