Equifax launches identity protection programme

Source: Equifax

Equifax (NYSE:EFX) today announced at the RSA Conference 2009 a suite of products and industry initiatives to protect consumers' identity online and enhance security for personally identifiable information.

Led by Ron Carpinella, vice president of identity management and identity marketing, Equifax's "Identity 2.0" program builds a pipeline of products that make online transactions easier and more secure for consumers and businesses. The Equifax I-Card and its enhanced authentication offering, eIDverifier, are two of the company's initiatives.

Equifax I-Card: First Public Demonstration

This week, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) conducted the first public government demonstrations of the Equifax online identity card, or I-Card, at the RSA Conference. Using a test site, the GSA showcased the benefits of using information card technology as the verified credential for clicking into a site.

"The government believes that there is a win-win for all of us in collaborating with industry to provide good identity solutions for electronic interactions with the American public," said Judy Spencer of the GSA.

Launched last fall, the Equifax I-Card is a digital identity management solution that lives in a consumer's digital wallet, containing information that consumers need to securely conduct online transactions or verify identity.

For websites that accept I-Cards, consumers can click-in without typing in a user name, password or other personal information. The Equifax I-Card is designed to verify that a consumer's identity is true, which can reduce fraud for online merchants, services and destinations. The I-Card can also reduce the need for companies to retain customers' personally identifiable information (PII), which helps reduce the risk posed by data breaches. In addition, because the I-Card only works with trusted Websites, it diminishes the danger of phishing.

Equifax eIDverifier

Powering the Equifax I-Card is the latest release of eIDverifier, one of the strongest identity verification tools available. eIDverifier is a Web-based service designed to authenticate a consumer's identity thrhrough a waterfall series of steps, all backed by Equifax's industry-leading information database.

The eIDverifier service presents multiple-choice questions known only to the consumer, and validates the information against multiple sources. eIDverifier screens for details such as irregular patterns in user log-ins and data that has been reported as belonging to a deceased consumer. The software then uses a patented process of assessment and reason-codes to detect potential fraud and confirm identity.

With the new eIDverifier 2.0, the Equifax I-Card is backed by the strongest possible identity protection software.

Executive Leadership - Ron Carpinella, Identity Management

Recently, Ron Carpinella, who leads Equifax's online information management program, shared some key insights on emerging industry trends and their impact on business at the RSA Conference. A former executive with Google, Flycast (CMGi) and Veoh, Carpinella presented his ideas on identity management at the conference's Identity Assurance Panel.

"Identity is about empowerment and engagement, and should be verifiable and secure," Carpinella said. "We're developing validation and verification tools that will establish a trusted relationship between consumers and online retailers, services and destinations."

Carpinella noted that Equifax is partnering with Azigo (formerly Parity), to offer the I-Card. Consumers who obtain the Equifax I-Card will also be offered Azigo's I-card management software to enable one-click sign-in and identity verification. Consumers can get their Equifax I-Card free of charge at https://equifaxicards.com/ for use exclusively at a proof-of-concept site (http://watch-this.com/).

The Equifax I-Card is part of the growing trend to provide increased anonymity and security for a consumer's financial and credit information online. Equifax is working with multiple data sources for identity verification, along with open source technology that is endorsed by The Information Card Foundation (ICF), an industry consortium of consumer, data and technology companies.

The Equifax I-Card is among the first commercial I-card-based products to launch from members of ICF, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing a simpler and more secure digital identity on the Internet. Led by Deutsche Telecom, Equifax, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle PayPal and Parity, the ICF promotes the rapid build-out and adoption of Internet-enabled digital identities using information cards.

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