The identity resolution step in identity proofing processes and the collection of core identity attributes are parallel processes to establish a unique representation of the individual’s identity for use during the proofing process and enrollment. The objective of the collection of core identity attributes is to resolve applicants’ identity to a single unique entity for the given population and context. The types of identity attributes that may be retrieved from identity documents and used for identity resolution typically include, but are not limited to:
These types of identity attributes may be presented in different formats and combinations. For example, name can be expressed as first name, last name, middle initial; date of birth can be expressed as DDMMYY, MMYY, YYYYMMDD; etc. Depending on the types of identity evidence that applicants can provide, there are many other types of identity attributes and information that may be collected and considered for identity resolution (e.g., place of employment, voting district, association membership, etc.). In general, self-asserted attributes not supported by identity evidence are not usable for purposes of identity proofing assurance higher than IAL1.
It is important to note that SP 800-63A limits the attribute information that may be collected and maintained:
Collection of PII SHALL be limited to the minimum necessary to resolve to a unique identity in a given context and to validate the existence of the claimed identity and associate the claimed identity with the applicant providing identity evidence for appropriate identity resolution, validation, and verification. This MAY include the collection of attributes that assist in data queries. (220.127.116.11, 4.2 #2)
The goal of identity resolution is to uniquely distinguish an individual within a given population or context. Effective identity resolution uses the minimum set of attributes necessary to resolve to a unique individual. In addition, SP 800-63A requires that applicants are provided a notice of identity proofing at the time of evidence collection. Such notice should include, but is not limited to:
There may be conflicts among attribute information collected for a given applicant that require resolution. The CSP may seek to resolve such conflicts though the collection of additional information, evidence and sources. Knowledge-based verification may be used for resolving information conflicts for purposes of identity resolution.
Identity evidence comprises physical or digital artifacts that identity system applicants can provide to prove the real-world existence of a claimed identity. Acceptable identity evidence is that which can be traced to issuing sources (e.g., state motor vehicle departments, state/federal government agencies, law enforcement agencies, utility company, financial institution).
CSPs may use multiple techniques for collecting attributes and evidence in different media. These techniques pertain to digital or other methods of collection that result in the transmission of information from the applicant to the agency. Multiple techniques may be combined based on the CSP’s requirements, applicant capabilities, and the overall approved identity proofing process flow. SP 800-63A does not specify whether all collection and identity proofing processes occur in a single session or in multiple sessions. The CSP should determine and document the information and collection and identity proofing processes, such information should be included in the notice of proofing described above.
Submitting evidence and attributes in multiple stages can become burdensome for an applicant. It is important to consider collecting the appropriate evidence up-front to avoid requiring the user to perform multiple interactions in order to establish an account. There should be a good balance between executing the proofing process and minimizing the burden on the applicant.
Applicants for in-person proofing should receive the notice of proofing described above prior to the in-person session so that they can be prepared for the session and be able to provide required information and identity evidence during the session. The processes below for collection of digital identity information and evidence are applicable to remote identity proofing processes but may also be used for in-person identity proofing processes for the submission of identity information and evidence prior to the in-person session.
Initial application information may be captured via an online form directly from the applicant that is being proofed. In other cases, the CSP may allow the applicant to provide some documents via remote means, such as submitting an image of an identification document like a passport or a driver’s license. This workflow requires the utilization of some form of digital capture, such as a camera or a document scanner. Systems with optical character recognition capabilities that allow fields in a document to be pre-populated upon scanning should also allow the applicant to review and validate the information as correct. Some CSPs may choose to enforce requirements more directly by providing mobile applications for collection, such as camera capture functions, that provide an overlay and illumination check feature to ensure applicants provide pictures with correct size and brightness.
Common methods which a CSP can use to digitally capture evidence are presented below.
|Document Image Capture||Camera||This can be used to capture an applicant’s photo or the image of an evidence such as a driver’s license. Agencies can consider pictures at 300 dpi or above to be of sufficient resolution.|
|Document Image Capture||Scanner||This can capture a document, which is compared against a known template by automated software to extract information. For optical character recognition, scans at high than 300 dpi are typically considered to be of sufficient quality.|
|Barcode||Scanner||Commercial off-the-shelf scanners can capture and extract information from standardized barcodes embedded on identity evidence.|
If the CSP performs in-person registration, it may consider, for efficiency and convenience purposes, executing additional steps in the process, such as evidence validation, at the time of registration. The CSP may provide kiosks to allow applicants to enter their information directly. Alternatively, applicants may meet with a representative of the CSP to allow them to enter the applicant’s information on their behalf. Note that when this is done it is important the process is conducted in a manner that allows the individual to verify their information has been accurately captured and input into the collection system. Training should be provided for all CSP representatives to ensure that they are aware of organizational and federal policy concerning privacy and user experience.
SP 800-63A also specifies (5.2.1) the characteristics of identity evidence in order to meet the following strength and quality classifications: UNACCEPTABLE, WEAK, FAIR, STRONG, and SUPERIOR. As indicated, one piece of STRONG evidence may be used to meet IAL2 requirements and one piece of SUPERIOR evidence and one piece of STRONG evidence may be used to meet IAL3 requirements depending on the strength of the original proof for the STRONG evidence and validation of the evidence occurs with the issuing source. The text depending on strength of original proof refers to the identity proofing process that was used in order to issue that type of STRONG evidence. If the identity proofing process for issuance of the STRONG evidence confirmed the claimed identity by collecting two of more forms of SUPERIOR or STRONG evidence, then the STRONG evidence can be considered to meet the first part of the requirement for consideration as STRONG+1 to meet the IAL2 and IAL3 requirements. The notional strength of evidence table uses the classification STRONG+ to denote evidence that may be considered to meet the test of strength of the original proof described above. As indicated, such STRONG+ evidence must be validated with the issuing sources listed in the table in order to meet this evidence strength classification. State-issued REAL ID driver’s licenses represent an example of this type of identity proofing requirements that may be considered to meet this condition. The text for the second condition for consideration as STRONG+ evidence is that validation occurs with the issuing source. This refers to the required validation of identity evidence (5.2.2) and STRONG evidence can be considered to meet this requirement if the evidence is validated with the issuing source. For the example above, state-issued REAL ID driver’s licenses can be considered to meet this condition for consideration as STRONG+ evidence if the CSP validates information from the driver’s license with the respective State Department of Motor Vehicles or the DMV databases maintained by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).
SP 800-63A (5.2.1) is directed to CSPs to specify the strength of evidence that may be collected based on evidence quality characteristics. Such determinations are dependent upon the jurisdiction, population served, identity proofing policies, procedures, and controls applied, and the specific quality characteristics for the types of identity evidence that the CSP may collect. The following table presents notional strength based on the quality characteristics for common types of evidence that may be presented by applicants for identity proofing. It is noted that this classification is notional based on the general quality characteristics for the listed evidence types.
|Type of Evidence||Strength||Notes|
|US Passport||SUPERIOR||Includes US Passport cards|
|Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card||SUPERIOR|
|Common Access card (CAC)||SUPERIOR|
|Personal Identity Verification Interoperable (PIV-I) card||SUPERIOR|
|Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)||SUPERIOR|
|Permanent Resident Card||SUPERIOR||Issued on or after May 11, 2010|
|Native American Enhanced Tribal Card||SUPERIOR|
|REAL ID cards||STRONG+||Includes REAL ID driver’s licenses and ID cards. REAL ID cards have a star printed in the upper right-hand corner. Card and personal information must be validated with appropriate DMV or AAMVA.|
|Enhanced ID cards||STRONG+||Includes Enhanced ID driver’s licenses and ID cards. Must be validated with appropriate DMV or AAMVA.|
|U.S. Uniformed Services Privilege and Identification Card (U.S. Military ID)||STRONG+||Includes Uniformed Services Dependent ID Cards. Must be validated with appropriate military issuing source.|
|Permanent Resident Card||STRONG||Issued Prior to May 11, 2010|
|Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card||STRONG|
|Driver’s License or ID card (REAL ID non-compliant)||STRONG|
|School ID card||FAIR||Includes facial image photograph|
|Utility account statement||FAIR|
|Credit/debit card and account statement||FAIR|
|Financial institution account statement||FAIR|
|US Social Security Card||WEAK|
|Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority or outlying possession of the United States bearing an official seal||WEAK|
The classification STRONG+ denotes evidence that may be considered to meet the evidence strength requirement for the IAL2 requirement for one piece of STRONG evidence and the IAL3 evidence strength requirement for one piece of SUPERIOR evidence and one piece of STRONG evidence, provided that the STRONG evidence must be validated with the issuing sources listed in order to meet this evidence strength classification. ↩