the Department on Aging, the Department of Agriculture, the Board of Higher Education, Healthcare and Family Services, Human Services and Employment Security.

Other agencies that take advantage of the PKI system include Northwestern University, Northern Illinois University, Illinois State University, the city of Rock Island, the village of Palatine, and the city of Schaumburg.

In December 2003, Illinois broadened its PKI scope by becoming the first state to cross-certify with the Federal Bridge Certification Authority (FBCA), which enables the certified digital IDs to be used for authentication to federal government applications. Before Illinois, the FBCA had never cross-certified with an external organization.

User education is the main obstacle that residents and government agencies face when using the services offered under the PKI platform, Daniels said. But with more than a 100,000 certificates issued, he added, the problem should soon solve itself.

"There is a pent-up demand for this kind of solution," Daniels said. "The bottom line is that our public key infrastructure allows citizens of Illinois to interact remotely with government in a streamlined fashion."

Chandler Harris  |  Contributing Writer