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What is the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group (IDESG)?

IDESG is a voluntary, public-private partnership dedicated to developing an Identity Ecosystem Framework (IDEF) and services to better online digital identity. The IDESG looks to advance the Identity Ecosystem called for in the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC).

Is the IDESG a government agency?

No. The IDESG is an independent non-profit organization. It does, however, receiving funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

What is the Identity Ecosystem?

The Identity Ecosystem is a set of components that interact and function together to enable online transactions for digital identities. The NSTIC, signed by President Obama in 2011, envisions the Identity Ecosystem as an online environment where individuals and organizations will be able to trust each other because they follow agreed-upon standards and policies to obtain and authenticate their digital identities.

Who does the Identity Ecosystem impact?

The Identity Ecosystem impacts every individual and organization that plays a part in an online transaction. Key stakeholders include:

  • Individuals - every person who conducts an online transaction.
  • Identity Providers - organizations that are responsible for managing all phases of the digital identity credential.
  • Relying Parties - organizations and companies with whom the individual conducts his/her online transaction.
  • Attribute Providers - organizations that manage all aspects of identity attributes to include validating the identity attributes at the request of the Relying Party. 

A more comprehensive description of these stakeholders is included in the NSTIC.

What is the Identity Ecosystem Framework (IDEF)?

Developed by IDESG, the IDEF is the overarching set of policies, best practices and standards that serve as the policy foundation for the Identity Ecosystem. The IDEF is aligned with the Guiding Principles of the NSTIC.

What are the NSTIC Guiding Principles?

The Guiding Principles are what distinguish the Identity Ecosystem envisioned by the NSTIC from other Identity Ecosystems. They call for all identity solutions to be:

  • Privacy-enhancing and voluntary
  • Secure and resilient
  • Interoperable
  • Cost-effective and easy to use

IDESG's IDEF adheres to these four core principles.

Why is the IDEF important to the identity marketplace?

Identity Ecosystem stakeholders can use the IDEF's baseline requirements to identify and measure capabilities and services today and to identify others to implement. The IDEF includes guidance, recommended standards and listing and self-reporting facilities as part of the IDESG's Self-Assessment Listing Service (SALS), supporting both informal and formal self-assessment. The IDESG's plans include an option to expand the program to third-party certification based on execution of the initial listing and the IDESG's outreach, activities and stakeholder input. Additionally, the IDESG will continue to build out the IDEF in subsequent versions to manage and anticipate the needs of the evolving Identity Ecosystem.  

Who are IDESG's members?

IDESG's membership is comprised of more than 300 corporations, governments and experts with expertise in identity, privacy, security, interoperability and usability. A list of members may be found here.

What do IDESG's members do?

IDESG's volunteer membership has created the IDEF version 1 through their participation in IDESG committees. The members recently voted to affirm the IDEF v.1 at their 15th Plenary. Moving forward, members will be working on the IDEF v.2 - a refinement of the first version that tackles identity some of the unique issues faced by industry stakeholder communities, such as financial services and healthcare.
To view a list of IDESG's Plenary committees, click here.

What are the benefits of sponsorship?

Sponsorship provides an organization or company with the opportunity to increase its visibility within the IDESG and the identity marketplace. There are two ways to get involved with IDESG through sponsorship: 

  1. sponsor IDESG and/or 
  2. sponsor a Plenary.

For more information on sponsorship packages, please contact:

Marc-Anthony Signorino
Executive Director, IDESG
(202) 656-2296

How can I join IDESG?

To join IDESG, please contact:

Marc-Anthony Signorino
Executive Director, IDESG
(202) 656-2296