September 29, 2023

Cassidy, Wyden to Introduce Bill to Crack Down on Identify Fraud from AI

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) will be introducing the Post Office Services for Trustworthy Identity (POST ID) Act to address the rising identity fraud crisis enabled by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and spreading deepfake technology. The POST ID Act allows the United States Postal Service (USPS) to offer identity verification and related services to the private sector like they currently do for government agencies. 

“AI is a powerful tool and while it has the potential for good, bad actors can exploit it to do harm,” said Dr. Cassidy. “As we learn to navigate a world with AI, Americans must have tools to combat identity fraud.” 

“Criminals using hacked personal information made it hard enough to verify a person’s identity – now AI deepfakes have added add a whole new challenge for the most common verification methods. The best way to confirm who someone is, is in-person verification. I am proud to co-sponsor this common-sense legislation with Senator Cassidy to enable American businesses to partner with the Post Office to protect their customers from identity thieves,” said Senator Wyden. 

The proliferation of AI and sophistication of deepfake technology has made it increasingly difficult to verify people online. One of the most secure and reliable forms of identity verification is In-Person Proofing, where individuals present physical credentials that are verified in person by an attendant. This form of identity verification is resistant to many forms of fraud and abuse, particularly those that may be made worse by AI. The legislation extends this secure and trust identity verification tool to the private sector to reduce identity fraud caused by AI.

Specifically, the POST ID Act:

  • Allows, but does not require, the USPS to offer identity verification and related services to the private sector, building on their existing capabilities which are currently available only to government agencies;
  • Authorizes USPS to issue authenticators to verified individuals, such as physical security keys, for use in future interactions;
  • Authorizes the USPS to conduct identity proofing at any USPS location, or through their authorized employees at any other location, such as the home of the individual being verified;
  • Subject to the consent of the individual being verified, allows for enrollment in or creation of digital accounts or systems as may be convenient for the individual, including concurrent enrollment in multiple accounts or systems;
  • Allows for the creation of a mechanism whereby third parties may sponsor an individual by paying the fees for their verification; and
  • Authorizes the USPS to charge such fees as necessary to cover the costs of providing these services.

Cassidy crafted the legislation after a major cybersecurity breach at the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles in June 2023. Every Louisianan with a state-issued driver’s license, ID, or vehicle registration had data exposed. Additionally, Louisiana ranks number two in identity theft with nearly 25,000 reported cases in the state in 2022 according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The POST ID Act is supported by the Better Identity Coalition and Okta. 

“As we pointed out in our Policy Blueprint, adversaries have caught up with many of the systems America has used for remote identity proofing and verification, and the government needs to play a bigger role,” said Better Identity Coalition Coordinator Jeremy Grant. “The Postal Service already provides in-person identity proofing services when Americans need to get a passport, and it’s only natural that the private sector also be able to leverage those services when companies need a way to verify someone’s identity in person.  We are thrilled that Senator Cassidy and Wyden are introducing legislation to make that possible.”

“Okta supports the POST ID Act, a bill to unlock a trusted new option for in-person identity verification in an age of deepfakes and AI-driven identity fraud. Authorizing the US Postal Service to partner with the private sector marks an important continuation of the public-private partnerships that are scaling trust and security in government services and enhancing the citizen experience. Okta sincerely thanks Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) for their thoughtful leadership and innovative thinking in support of further strengthening of our nation’s cybersecurity posture,” said Okta Head of U.S. Federal Affairs Michael Clauser.  

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