The National Institute of Standards and Technology has announced that it is seeking comment on electronic authentication with the aim of ensuring that the US government benefits from advances in the private marketplace in identity authentication.NIST's Computer Security Division has issued a “Note to Reviewers” to explore new ways to apply innovation within its special publication (SP) 800-63 on “Electronic Authentication Guidelines”.”While SP 800-63 is required for federal agencies only, a potential future revision could benefit consumer-facing services the government offers, including and the private sector identity service providers that are intrinsic to the delivery of strong authentication to the government.”The announcement came in a blog post which also stated that also said the body was enthusiastic about organizations that are pioneering new identity technologies, “but recognizes that widespread adoption of these technologies require that they be interoperable”.”Mobile applications have also seen substantial advancements this past year with organizations like the FIDO Alliance (Fast Identity Online) broadening the aperture on how individuals can use devices they already have to replace passwords, or support more convenient, easy-to-use multi-factor authentication.With this standardization, individuals have more choice than ever in how they authenticate, whether it is with biometrics (like fingerprints or facial recognition) or traditional hardware and software tokens (like SMS passcodes or USB keys).”NIST added that both public and private sector input will be imperative in shaping the Electronic Authentication Guidelines document, given the impact it could have on the Identity Ecosystem.