Editorial

Digital Identity: Global Roundup

Digital identity news from around the world

Posted 19 April 2021 by

United States

Veriff has raised $69 million in a Series B funding round to meet what the company says is accelerating demand for its biometric video identity verification, particularly in the US.

The funding round was led by IVP and Accel, each of which will place a member on Veriff’s board of directors.

By comparing more than 1,000 data points, Veriff seeks to provide transparent responses increasing security and trust for businesses online, across different sectors and use cases. It’s artificial intelligence decision engine analyses more than 9,000 different government-issued IDs from more than 190 countries in 36 different languages with machine learning.

The company says its video-first, AI-powered identity verification technology combines with sophisticated data cross-checks can detect signs of identity fraud not visible from basic data extraction, still images or biometrics. Veriff’s goal is to build a stronger source for online identity than government-issued IDs alone provide.

Australia

A national digital identity programme has been flagged raised as a key priority by the government.

Following the Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting on Friday, ministers agreed that a national approach to digital identity would “make it easier for the Australian public to interact online across a wide range of digital services, regardless of the jurisdiction they live in or the service they are accessing”. They added work continues among them to “make this a reality”.

The meeting’s agenda also covered the development of an intergovernmental agreement to support national data sharing between governments, as well as updates on the Commonwealth’s rollout of a COVID-19 vaccination ‘passport’.

Last week the country’s national auditor said it was considering putting the federal government’s $450 million digital identity programme under the microscope, with a planned review of the scheme’s budget and effectiveness.

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) released its draft work plan for 2021-22, revealing it is also eyeing off the COVIDSafe contact tracing app, the regulation of digital currency exchange providers and Services Australia’s data practices for potential review.

The ANAO will potentially launch an audit into the government’s development and delivery of digital identity reforms, which is being led by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA). 

India

Millions of vulnerable people are reportedly at risk of missing out on COVID-19 vaccines as India uses its national digital identity for registration and pilots facial recognition technology at inoculation centres, rights groups and experts said.

Amid a surge in coronavirus cases, authorities are testing a facial recognition system based on the Aadhaar ID for authentication in the eastern state of Jharkhand, and plan to roll it out nationwide, a senior official said last week.

“Aadhaar-based facial recognition system could soon replace biometric fingerprint or iris scan machines at COVID-19 vaccination centres across the country in order to avoid infections,” R.S. Sharma, chief of the National Health Authority, was quoted as telling an online publication.

Sharma added later that the system would not be mandatory, but new guidelines indicate that Aadhaar is already the “preferred” mode of identity verification and for vaccination certificates.

Brazil

Central Bank (BC) President Roberto Campos Neto said that Pix, the Brazilian instant payment service, may evolve to other functionalities and eventually become a kind of digital identity.

“We understand that we can expand this [the Pix] to improve even more the quality of life of people with public services and eventually even becoming a digital identity, as was done in India,” he said during a virtual event promoted by the Indian Embassy on Wednesday, April 14.

 In early 2020, approximately one in three Brazilians were classified as unbanked, meaning they lacked access to digital financial service offerings, including those powering payments. 

Jamaica

Concerns about the safety of personal data to be collected for Jamaica’s National Identity System (NIDS) programme have again been raised by some academics and lawyers in the country.

As per Biometric Update, public defender Arlene Harrison Henry says the amount of data to be captured and stored in the NIDS database is too much, and tantamount to “intrusion” on the private lives and spaces of citizens.

different report also quoted the Dean of the Faculty of Law at The University of West Indies, Mona, Dr Shazeeda Ali, as raising similar fears, saying the proposed NIDS will likely interfere with some privacy rights of citizens in the country.

NIDS seeks to put in place a platform where identity information will be captured from citizens and stored in a centralised system. The goal, according to the country’s authorities, is to assign a unique nine-digit national identification number (NIN) to every citizen with which they can access certain public services.

Liked this article?

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest digital transformation news directly to your inbox.