The Obama administration plans to announce today plans for an Internet identity system that will limit fraud and streamline online transactions, leading to a surge in Web commerce, officials said. While the White House has spearheaded development of the framework for secure online identities, the system led by the U.S. Commerce Department will be voluntary and maintained by private companies, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement. Most companies have separate systems for signing on to e- mail accounts or conducting secure online transactions, requiring that users memorize multiple passwords and repeat steps. Under the new program, consumers would sign in just once and be able to move among other websites, eliminating the inconvenience that causes consumers to drop many transactions.[/p] Source Seems this is like a version of OpenID they'll push for online transactions (what categories and if it includes something like ebay, we don't know yet). It's said to be optional and done by privately-run companies. This doesn't seem that smart to me, though. It introduces a central point of failure in that you only have one login to many sites. This is quite a no-no security-wise, I'm surprised they're considering it.