A few months ago, the Obama Administration introduced its National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), an ambitious proposal to implement public-private partnerships to implement a new mechanism for identity verification and information sharing online.  The plan has been controversial.  Although there have been many legitimate criticisms of the proposal, other objections, such as that the plan would mandate a single national online ID, appear to be based on misunderstandings.

To help combat the latter set of objections, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which will help implement the plan, released a brief and helpful animation explaining the proposal:

The government’s efforts at forwarding the NSTIC come at a time when there are signs of increasing private interest in data portability involving sensitive information.  For instance, tech news blog TechCrunch recently described a new startup called “Stripe,” reportedly backed by Silicon Valley heavy-hitters, as a new competitor with PayPal, Google Checkout, and similar services that offer centralized sources for consumers to make payments to websites and online applications.