October 02, 2023

Wyden, Cassidy to Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Crack Down on Identity Fraud from AI

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today announced that he and U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La., will introduce bipartisan legislation to combat rising cases of identity fraud from the use of artificial intelligence by allowing the United States Postal Service to offer identity verification and related services to the private sector like they currently do for government agencies.

“Criminals using hacked personal information made it hard enough to verify a person’s identity - now AI deepfakes have added add a whole new challenge for the most common verification methods,” Wyden said. “The best way to confirm who someone is, is in-person verification. I am proud to co-sponsor this common-sense legislation with Senator Cassidy to enable American businesses to partner with the Post Office to protect their customers from identity thieves.”

“AI is a powerful tool and while it has the potential for good, bad actors can exploit it to do harm,” said Cassidy. “As we learn to navigate a world with AI, Americans must have tools to combat identity fraud.”

The increased use of AI and complexity of deepfake technology has made it harder to verify people online. One of the most secure and reliable forms of identity verification is In-Person Proofing, where individuals present physical credentials that are checked in person by an attendant. This form of identity verification is resistant to many forms of fraud and abuse, particularly those that may be made worse by AI.

The POST ID Act would:

  • Allow, but does not require, the USPS to offer identity verification and related services to the private sector, building on its existing capabilities currently available only to government agencies;
  • Authorize USPS to issue authenticators to verified individuals, such as physical security keys, for use in future interactions;
  • Authorize USPS to conduct identity proofing at any USPS location, or through its authorized employees at any other location, such as the home of the individual being verified;
  • Subject to the consent of the individual being verified, allow for enrollment in or creation of digital accounts or systems convenient for the individual, including concurrent enrollment in multiple accounts or systems;
  • Allow for the creation of a mechanism whereby third parties may sponsor an individual by paying the fees for their verification; and
  • Authorize the USPS to charge such fees as necessary to cover the costs of providing these services.

“As we pointed out in our Policy Blueprint, adversaries have caught up with many of the systems America has used for remote identity proofing and verification, and the government needs to play a bigger role,” said Better Identity Coalition Coordinator Jeremy Grant. “The Postal Service already provides in-person identity proofing services when Americans need to get a passport, and it’s only natural that the private sector also be able to leverage those services when companies need a way to verify someone’s identity in person.  We are thrilled that Senator Cassidy and Wyden are introducing legislation to make that possible.”

The proposed legislation is supported by the Better Identity Coalition and Okta.

A one-pager of the bill is here.