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Pandemic Accents Federal Need for Identification Tech

– AFCEA

In this article for SIGNAL magazine, George I. Seffers reports on the need for better identity verification systems for improved federal management of relief programs in the United States

This need has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, unprecedented traditional Unemployment Insurance claims, and new claims under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“‘The whole CARES Act presented this amazing magnet for fraudsters, honestly… Because the government cannot easily verify the identities of those making claims, a lot of COVID relief money has been lost. We literally have billions of dollars at this point walking out the door under these programs due to identity theft and lack of our ability to deal with that verification. We are the case study,’ Gilbert admitted.”

Seffers reports that identity theft, money laundering, and data breaches that other countries like Canada are experiencing, all highlight issues the US government is facing - and considering solutions for - moving forward. He also notes how the public sector is considering technology trends already popular in the private sector.

Benji Hutchinson, vice president, NEC Corporation America, said the pandemic is accelerating trends in identity management... “We’re starting to see with the pandemic things are starting to shift and accelerate. Trends that were quickly underway have started to pick up speed and change in ways that I don’t think we even fully understand,” he offered

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