First Look

Login.gov names new director ahead of facial recognition pilot

Hanna Kim, who started as deputy director for Login.gov in January, will serve as its director starting in May. She will replace Dan Lopez-Braus.

The General Services Administration is shuffling its Login.gov leadership, as it prepares to roll out long-anticipated facial recognition capabilities.

Hanna Kim, Login.gov’s deputy director who started in January, will serve as its director, starting next month.

GSA’s Technology Transformation Services told staff Wednesday that Kim will begin her tenure as Login.gov director on May 11. She’ll take over for Dan Lopez-Braus, who will step down as director and serve as senior advisor for TTS.

Hanna Kim, Login.gov’s deputy director who started in January, will serve as its director, starting next month.

Kim, a former tech product manager at Amazon who previously served as a national security policy advisor at the departments of State, Defense and Treasury, will lead Login.gov as it prepares to test facial recognition as an identity-proofing option, starting next month.

The pilot in May will allow individuals to verify their identity online using facial recognition technology that meets standards set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s 800-63-3 Identity Assurance Level 2 (IAL2) guidelines.

The pilot will allow users to match a “selfie” with the photo on a government ID, such as a driver’s license.

TTS Director Ann Lewis said in a statement that Kim “brings expertise at the intersection of policy, product leadership, and delivering digital products at scale, helping ensure that Login.gov will continue to meet millions of Americans where they are in accessing government benefits and services.”

“I’m excited to see Hanna take the reins of the Login.gov program and build on the progress Dan has made toward achieving IAL2 compliance and scaling the program to support critical benefits services and government applications,” Lewis said.

Login.gov is also rolling out a new pricing model, slated to take effect on July 1. Lewis said the facial recognition pilot and the new pricing model will empower even more agencies and programs to use Login.gov to benefit people nationwide.”

Several agencies have opted into the facial recognition pilot so far. GSA expects more agencies will join the pilot when it expands this summer.

GSA said the facial recognition pilot is a step toward protecting users from increasingly sophisticated identity fraud and cyberattacks.

The facial recognition pilot builds on Login.gov’s existing identity verification process, which requires validation of a government-issued ID and a phone number or address.

GSA’s rollout of facial recognition technology on Login.gov comes a year after its inspector general’s office found it misled agency customers and the Technology Modernization Fund board about meeting NIST’s IAL2 standard for remote identity proofing.

The IG report found that, rather than conducting physical or biometric comparisons, such as through facial recognition or fingerprints, as required by NIST, Login.gov was instead using a third party to compare identification cards to information contained in LexisNexis.

GSA says that in the coming weeks, Login.gov will also expand in-person identity verification to be a “visible, upfront option” for all Login.gov users to access services from nearly all participating agencies.

This in-person identity verification option expands GSA’s current partnership with the Postal Service. Login.gov users will be able to verify their identity in person at over 18,000 post offices across the country. More than 99% of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a post office.

Under Lopez-Braus’ leadership, Login.gov grew to become the single sign-on service for 500 applications at 47 agencies — up from about 300 applications at 38 agencies.

Lewis said that his leadership “helped the Login.gov program grow from an emerging product into a government-wide provider of critical services.”

During his tenure, Lopez-Braus established a dedicated team at Login.gov to combat identity fraud, launched 24/7 phone support to users, and began to offer in-person identity proofing at post offices nationwide in collaboration with USPS.

Login.gov has 100 million users total. About 30 million individuals signed up for accounts in the past year.

 

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