As a colleague recently noted in a blog post, whenever you hear a CEO ask for regulation it’s because they’ve figured out a way to make larger profits from it. Corporate executives won’t fess up to such motives, of course – usually they praise the legislation as serving the public good. Such is the case with software giant McAfee and their support for The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace.
McAfee CEO Dave DeWalt has been a vocal supporter of the program, which would provide users a unique online ID to act as a virtual version of a social security number. “It’s about time,” DeWalt said recently. “I’m a huge fan and applaud what NSTIC doing.” DeWalt put it bluntly, “We need government to step up.”
The online ID program could benefit McAfee in a few ways.
Under this program, IDs would be stored on multiple databases, versus one large storage center. To do this, the government is looking to private firms to implement and run these centers, as well as set up the verification process that would make these IDs actually “work”.
CEO DeWalt proposed other regulations that could give him business. He said one way to stop malware and identity theft is to have the government require anyone starting a new website provide some kind of basic level of identity proving they are "good people" during the initial registration process. And if McAfee just happens to be in a position to provide that service, for a fee of course, well I’m sure that’s just a side product of them looking out for the good of internet users.