14 February, 2008
Cultural obstacles can be as much of a problem as the technical issues with HSPD-12 initiatives, according to Judith Spencer, the chair of the Federal Identity Credentialing Committee with the General Services Administration. “We have to use this card in a way that exercises its capabilities,” she said during a Web conference Wednesday. “We have to undergo a paradigm shift that is as much cultural than technical.”
The new ID card is meant to convey trust, Spencer says. The biometric and information stored on the chip ties it to the owner. “It prevents an individual from getting a hold of a card that’s not their own,” she says.
But having officials realize the card is a trusted document and how it should be used is an issue the FICC is working on. For example, how will the card be used for physical access? Will it be swiped? Tapped? Will the biometric have to be authenticated? Regardless of how agencies choose to do it physical access control systems will have to be upgraded, Spencer says.
“We’re looking forward to the day where access for employees to other federal buildings will become much more streamlined. It’s going to take some time before that vision becomes a reality.”
Spencer says enabling that trust is the final step for the new credential. The first step, which is almost complete, is standardizing the identity process. The next step is integrating the new ID card into the federal identity management system. This is underway now.