In October 2011, federal CIO Steven VanRoekel gave federal agencies three years to allow third-party credentials to validate identities for citizens wanting to do business with them online. As a part of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), the Federal Cloud Credential Exchange encourages secure citizen-to-government interactions by removing the requirement that people set up separate usernames and passwords with individual agencies.

Acknowledging growing citizen expectations for online services, procurement documents describe the challenges faced by users drowning in dozens of online accounts and agencies struggling to cost-effectively provide online services.

According to Information Week, a new pilot program at the U.S. Postal Service will test acceptance of third party identity verification services like PayPal and Google for use in government transactions. The large scale test needs to support approximately 135 million U.S. Postal Service customers and up to 1 million transactions per hour. Several vendors, including Symantec, Xceedium and Amazon Web Services, have indicated interest in participating in the pilot program.

Several other pilot programs, including some in cryptography and online privacy, are also being conducted in conjunction with NSTIC, according to Information Week.

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