There has been a lot of interest in pandemic fraud in Washington, DC. A lot of that fraud - including by hackers linked to the Chinese government - took advantage of the fact the US digital identity infrastructure is lagging behind other parts of the world. Covid was a catalyst for many companies, especially traditional banks, retailers and transportation companies, to accelerate their digital transformation. Digital identity has been a big part of that. According to McKinsey, 7 years of digital transformation have been compressed into just 2 years.
Terry Denzer, Onfido’s Chief Revenue Officer, participated in TechNet Day along with more than 20 executives from different TechNet member companies, including Google, Samsung, Ebay, and others. Denzer and other executives met with bipartisan representatives and senators, as well as White House senior advisors, to talk about issues important to the tech community - including digital identity.
And as more companies have moved online, more fraudsters followed, and it has become a digital arms race. In 2021, at Onfido we saw a 57% increase in sophisticated fraud compared to the previous year and other research shows identity theft losses increasing by 42%. Bottom line, fraudsters are finding smarter ways to capitalize on the changing digital landscape and it is hurting Americans and businesses.
The recently published White House National Cybersecurity Strategy highlighted the importance of digital identity infrastructure and the need for the public and private sectors to work together to stop fraudsters. We couldn’t agree more. That's why Onfido has led the creation of TechNet’s new focus on digital identity (more information can be found here).
The Improving Digital Identity Act - led by Congressman Foster, Senator Lummis, and Senator Sinema - would establish a task force to look at our digital identity infrastructure and how it can be improved to better protect Americans’ security and privacy. To get this right, it’s going to take collaboration at the federal, state, and local government levels as well as with industry. Ultimately the taskforce outlined in this legislation doesn't require an act of Congress and could be established with an Executive Order. Either way, it’s time for leaders in Washington to take the first step to improve our digital identity infrastructure. We need to protect the sensitive identity information of Americans while enabling them to access online services in a way that is secure and protects their privacy.
As they say in Washington, if you aren’t at the table you may be on the table. Onfido is proud to be at the table with policymakers talking about the importance of digital identity and the needed steps to strengthen our digital identity infrastructure to protect Americans and businesses from fraudsters.