The State of Illinois Digital Signature/PKI Project provides an enterprise-wide infrastructure to facilitate electronic government services. PKI utilizes public key cryptography and digital signatures, along with software to manage those certificates. Building these services into software applications provides the means to authenticate users, ensure privacy and integrity of data, and establish the audit trails needed to give electronic transactions the same or better levels of assurance that we are able to provide when we do business in paper.
This centrally deployed model will eliminate the need for each governmental entity to individually develop and implement these tools. It will also provide a more workable model for citizens, eliminating the need to deal with multiple PINs, passwords, or encryption keys. After a single registration process the citizen will be issued a digital certificate that is quite literally his or her “key” to electronic government. The digital certificate will enable a citizen to identify or authenticate himself to receive personalized electronic services, digitally sign forms to be submitted, and send or receive sensitive information in an encrypted form to protect privacy while interacting with any participating government entity.