The University of Texas at Austin established the Center for Identity (CID) to serve as a center of excellence in identity management, privacy and security. The Center is powered by a unique board of advisors composed of partners from private industry, state and federal government agencies, and law enforcement including the FBI, US Secret Service, US Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, Texas Department of Public Safety, and numerous corporate partners. With its research, education and outreach programs, the Center for Identity is delivering actionable knowledge and products to protect against on-going and evolving threats, vulnerabilities, risks and consequences resulting from identity crimes and their impact on national security.
Identity theft, fraud and abuse are a national security issue now more than ever before
- Terrorists use fake IDs —or legitimate, government-issued IDs acquired through fraudulent means - to enter the U.S., to move freely about the country, and to gain access to vital infrastructure, sensitive locations and important services such as banking and transportation. Identity management = access management. Access to what? To financial information, health records and other sensitive data, government services and public assistance, and physical access to critical infrastructure, just to name a few important examples.
- Forged, stolen, or altered identity documentation are easily used to secure a wide range of legally accepted forms of identification in the U.S, including birth certificates and driver’s licences. According to the U.S. State Department, Texas ranks #1 in the nation as the claimed place of birth on fraudulent passport applications.
Connecting the dots…BEFORE, not AFTER
- Experts agree. The clues and information needed to preempt terrorists acts on US soil is available but hard to spot or connect.
- Valuable identity information can be used by law enforcement officers, government agencies, and businesses to connect the dots and positively identify potential threats before it is too late.
- Lots of opportunities exist. Every state-issued document or credential gives access to infrastructure, people and services.
- Investments are needed now to focus on the border, the internet, and federal and state agencies that provide trusted identity credentials, documents and other services (online and in person).
The Center for Identity can help
With proper funding, UT CID research and training initiatives can provide invaluable assistance to law enforcement, state government agencies and employees, and ultimately, our Nation:
- Expert Eyes – UT CID can train and deliver tools for law enforcement officers in the field who are charged with immediately judging identity credentials and identifying potential undocumented aliens.
- Statewide Scorecards – UT CID can benchmark and improve state agency operating procedures for those who issue identity documentation (and other documenting granting access) and those who rely on those documents to issue credentials and services.
- ID Threat Alert Notification System – UT CID can issue “Amber-like” notifications to warn law enforcement and state agencies against known and emerging ID threats to assist in criminal cases, based on data provided by the UT CID Identity Threat Assessment and Prediction (ITAP) project, which analyzes actual case studies to characterize and predict identity threat patterns, vulnerabilities and consequences.
- Nationwide Academic Partnerships – Connecting the dots means connecting key stakeholders -- corporations, academia, state agencies and law enforcement. UT CID is uniquely qualifed and capable of leading this identity access management research and continuing education center of excellence.
- Next-Gen IDs — The current methods for identifying people and the current sets of “identity documents” is old (pre-internet) and static (e.g. SSN and birth certificates don’t change) and is not working. Thieves and terrorists have it figured out. We need real innovations. The UT CID Ecosystem project is the answer.