It’s a little thin on details, but the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace envisions a day when people conducting online activity no longer have to rely on passwords, which can be hard to remember or can be hacked.

Instead, people will be able to get a secure credential in the form of a smart card or a USB thumb drive, which will carry their personal information and can be used to authenticate their identity online…

The plan is sure to raise concerns, because some (or many) individuals will be hesitant to turn their personal information over to the government or a private service in order to get a secure credential. But the plan emphasizes that nobody will be required to have a secure credential to conduct online activity.