May 18, 2006 11:04AM

Identification: Whom do People Trust?

Ask the average American where to go to get an identification card and they will tell you, of course, to go to the local Department of Motor Vehicles. Across the country, DMVs are the dominant source of identification cards, with perhaps the State Department in second because it issues passports. People who think about this carefully might realize that many corporations also issue identification cards.

So, with governments eclipsing all other issuers, who do you suppose Americans trust to issue identity credentials? 


A Ponemon Institute study, funded by Unisys, has found that banking institutions are most trusted to issue and manage identity credentials (graph, page 6). The least trusted organizations are police and law enforcement. 

Banks were trusted on every continent, and tax authorities were distrusted on every continent. Police authorities are distrusted deeply in the United States and Latin America, but not as much in Asia and Europe. Curiously, the postal service is trusted very highly in the United States, while registering little reaction, positive or negative, on other continents.

To avert a national ID, “identity management” is the way to go: cards, tokens, and devices that share only the information required for transactions. Who should be issuing those things? Banks and other private entities. 

More info and brilliant insight here.

(Cross‐​posted from TechLiberationFront)