SD7 - Joint Commission on Technology and Science Study of Electronic Identity Credentials

    Executive Summary:
    Senate Joint Resolution 15 (Watkins), adopted by the 2012 Session of the General Assembly, directed the Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS) to study electronic identity credentials and possible liability concerns therewith. The resolution was a recommendation of JCOTS, which had commenced studying the issue during the 2012 Interim.

    The study stemmed from the increased use of the Internet for the conduct of business, and the need to validate and authenticate online identities. The resolution directed JCOTS to coordinate with the public and private sector, to identify the role that the Commonwealth should play in issuing electronic credentials, to review liability issues confronting the private sector in issuing credentials, to review other related issues.

    JCOTS created an Identity Management Advisory Committee to study the issues as directed by the resolution. Senator John Watkins, vice-chairman of JCOTS, chaired the advisory committee, which also included JCOTS members Delegate Kathy Byron and Senator Janet Howell. The chairman of JCOTS, Delegate Tom Rust, also appointed various representatives from the Offices of the Secretaries of Health and Human Resources, Technology, and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, as well as representatives from various state agencies that report to such Secretaries. In addition, JCOTS welcomed the involvement of private sector representatives at the meetings, and had many private-sector representatives participating in person and via call-in during each meeting.

    The advisory committee met twice during the 2012 Interim, and both meetings were used for extensive information gathering concerning this complex topic. The committee received presentations from the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, the Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth Statewide Credentialing Coordinator, and the Department of Motor Vehicles, as well as from Microsoft, Verizon, the SAS Institute, and Certipath.

    At the conclusion of the Interim, the advisory committee did not have any legislative recommendations concerning electronic identity management. JCOTS did, however, recommend that it continue to study the issue during the 2013 Interim.

    More detailed information concerning the work of the JCOTS Advisory Committee is available in the JCOTS 2012 Annual Report, and on the JCOTS website at