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"The importance of identity as linked to a person, organization, or device, and the management of that identity have become critical to all aspects of our society. The growth of e-government, on-line banking and shopping, electronic health records, and globalization, creates opportunities for individuals to present themselves as someone else for fraudulent and other illegal purposes.
“Identity theft...is the fastest growing type of fraud in the United States; in 2008 about 9.9 million Americans were reportedly victims of identity theft, an increase of 22% from the number of cases in 2007...it costs consumers about $50 billion annually.” (Congressional Research Service, January 10, 2010) In addition to the personal and commercial financial damages inflicted, identity theft contributes to a wide range of crimes and social challenges, including healthcare fraud, human trafficking, narcotics trafficking, and social networking abuses.
So, how can we know people are who they say they are? Are their identities inherited or earned? And, how far are we willing to go to authenticate and manage their identities? The Center for Identity offers an opportunity to participate in research at the cutting-edge of developing answers to these questions. It provides highly advanced, comprehensive basic and applied research, and access to the experts who produce it. The education thrust of the Center will seek to educate students, fuel innovations, and develop professionals who can actively confront identity management challenges, detect fraud, and implement advanced protection technologies and policies in industry and government. Perhaps most importantly, the Center provides a place for interaction and information exchange among leaders from industry, government, and academia."