New Bill Will Give Feds Even More Power Over ‘Digital ID’

July 26th, 2022 6:06 PM

The House Oversight and Reform Committee is set to approve a bill that would give the federal government more power over digital ID.

On Monday, Reclaim The Net reported that Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) reintroduced the bill with bipartisan support:

“The bill seeks to require the federal government to use its authority to help citizens ‘prove who they are online’ through the provision of optional ID validation services, which ‘augment private sector digital identity and authentication solutions.’”

Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) praised the bill, claiming that “a secure digital identity infrastructure is an essential foundation to American economic and national security.”

Other lawmakers have concerns about the bill.

Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the committee’s ranking Republican, opposes the timeline of the bill, which would create a task force on digital identity within the Department of Homeland Security and give the task force three years to release a final report. 

“Improved and expanded digital identity technologies may well play an important role in reducing fraud, but this bill would only give the appearance of action,” Comer said.

Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced a companion bill in the Senate, although that bill maintains that digital ID should be "equitable," contrary to the House bill, according to Reclaim The Net.

Lummis said in a press release that “it doesn’t make sense that Americans have to constantly overshare sensitive identity information with government agencies and businesses, which are honeypots all too often targeted by hackers and identity thieves.”

Sinema says the new bill does more to protect consumer privacy.

“We’re supporting innovation and enhancing privacy by improving digital verification to combat identity theft, fraud, and cybercrime,” she added in the release.

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