Locke announces new office to secure online transactions

“Identity theft is rampant and growing. Increasingly sophisticated cyber-hackers and thieves continue to steal personal information, bank account data and proprietary information," said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). "The NSTIC will take important steps forward to enhance the trust of user and consumer confidence in all of their online transactions."

“Establishing this office represents an important step in the process of protecting the security and privacy of online transactions," said Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.). “It’s a critical piece of the larger cybersecurity puzzle." 

The Commerce Department estimates that worldwide e-commerce totals roughly $10 trillion annually. E-commerce sales were up 13.6 percent over a year ago during the third quarter of 2010, at more than $41 billion. Commerce plans to hold a workshop later this year to highlight its efforts on the NSTIC.

“We are extremely pleased to have a dedicated point of contact to secure the government’s support in creating a more trusted identity infrastructure," said Phil Bond, president and CEO of the industry group TechAmerica, which helped host the event. "We call upon the government to establish an even stronger public-private partnership by creating a private sector advisory committee for the program office.”

“Internet commerce and today's digital society run on trust — people need to know who they are dealing with," Bond added.