The push for online privacy

Obama steps in

In a move reflecting increasing public concern regarding privacy and online health information, the Obama administration recently released the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) to create an electronic system protecting consumers’ identities, as well as health-related and other data, according to media reports.

The proposed “identity ecosystem” would encourage companies to help combat online fraud and identity theft by developing smart cards, thumb drives or smart-phone applications that can be used to access personal information with a single username and password, as opposed to creating separate usernames and passwords to access different sites.

The White House released a draft plan in June 2010 that noted the ecosystem will be used for government services before spreading into the health-care industry and other fields.