U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez has approved a new smart-card based identification standard for federal agencies.
Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 201, Personal Identity Verification (PIV) of Federal Employees and Contractors, is a result of last year's Homeland Security Presidential Directive calling for a mandatory, government-wide personal identification standard.
"This new standard will enable federal agencies to issue more secure and reliable forms of identification to better protect federal assets agaisnt threats such as terrorist attacks. It also will help safeguard against other risks such as identity theft," Gutierrez said in a statement.
The standard details the technical and operational requirements for the PIV system and card. By October, agencies must meet the first part of the standard, which describes the minimum requirements to meet the security objectives of the presidential directive.
The PIV card, the heart of the identification system, is about the size of a credit card and will contain integrated chips for storing electronic information, a personal ID number, a photo and two electronically stored fingerprints.