Editorial

Digital Identity: Global Roundup

Digital identity news from around the world

Posted 21 June 2021 by Christine Horton


Scotland

The Scottish government has awarded a two-year contract to supplier software consultancy firm Scott Logic to develop a digital identity service.

The project will see a suite of common platforms put in place across the Scottish public sector, introducing a single digital identity service for citizens.

The aim is to make it easier for users to prove who they are, and users will be able to store their information and choose which services to share it with when interacting with the public sector.

Scottish innovation minister Ivan McKee said people expect public services that “are accessible and easy to use”, adding: “They want them to be inclusive and designed around their needs, rather than the structures of the organisations that provide them.

“Our vision is to introduce a digital identity service for users that provides a safe and easy way for people to prove that they are eligible for a public service or benefit online.”

Scott Logic is headed by former Government Digital Service (GDS) boss Stephen Foreshew-Cain, and the supplier began the project to create the digital identity platform in April 2021.

The project has four components: secure sign-in, an attribute store, integration with credential providers, and integration with public service organisations.

The contract is for two years with the option for two one-year extensions.

Canada

Canada’s CIO Strategy Council has been engaged by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) to develop a technical specification to support the widespread adoption of digital identity and credentials as the economy moves online.

The specifications are intended to provide a way for third parties in Canada to trust that digital credentials and digital trust services meet emerging digital identity standards requirements, such as for interoperability, privacy and security. This will provide assurance that credentials shared from a user’s digital wallet are verified or certified, whether opening a bank account, providing professional qualifications to a potential employer, or proving health status.

The new technical specification will set minimum standards for interoperability between businesses and governments, and create seamless user experiences, according to the announcement. Once established, they will be used as the basis for conformity assessment solutions for consumers.

The standards-setting process is intended to be open and encourage participation from digital identity thought leaders, policy makers, commercial interests, academia and civil society.7

UK / Turkey

Australian start-up OCR Labs has announced a €12.5 million Series A round led by Turkish investors the Oyak Group, to expand its services and team to the UK and Turkish markets.

OCR Labs Founders Daniel Aiello and Matthew Adams say they wanted to “create a product that streamlined customer onboarding whilst protecting organisations against the increasing risk of fraud and identity theft. They wanted to build a fully automated process, removing the need for people in the process, to speed up verification and help conversion.”

Built on six years of research and development and the last three in the market, OCR Labs proprietary technology uses five proprietary technologies in one solution, including identity document optical character recognition (OCR), document fraud assessment, liveness detection, video fraud assessment, and face matching. The end-to-end solution supports Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations and improves customer conversion while reducing fraud, says the firm. The company has more privacy certificates than AWS and Google Workspaces.

OCR Labs launched in Australia and New Zealand in 2018 and has been adopted by organisations both in highly-regulated industries such as banking, finance, insurance and government, as well as commercial entities including telco, ecommerce and real estate. The company has experienced triple digit growth in Australia since launch.

The Series A investment from Oyak Group will be used to invest in technology innovation in order to scale OCR Labs into the UK and Turkish markets and grow its team in both London and Istanbul. The company already has a growing team in the UK where it has established their International HQ and plans to double their presence this year.

Russ Cohn has been appointed general manager of international operations, having previously been an early member of the Google UK leadership team. OCR Labs plans to expand further into EMEA and is also exploring new markets around the world.

Italy

Italy’s premier Mario Draghi has signed a new decree launching the national digital green certificate website for people who have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from covid-19.

The ‘Green Pass’ certificate is designed to facilitate travel, allow people to participate in large events and provide visiting access to nursing homes.

The Certificazione Verde website lets people in Italy request the Green Pass which in addition to Italian is available in English, French and German.

The form, which comes in digital or paper versions, is completely free and contains a scannable QR code.

USA

Seventy-nine of US organisations experienced an identity-related breach within the past two years, according to the Identity Defined Security Alliance (IDSA).

The study found that remote work has significantly impacted identity security. Eighty-three percent report that remote work due to COVID-19 increased the number of identities and 80 percent say the shift to remote work increased focus on identity security.

Confidence in the ability to secure employee identities dropped from 49 to 32 percent in the past year. Breaches are still prevalent, but investments in targeted prevention are accelerating

Identity breaches are not increasing, but they are having an impact on organizations At least 70 percent report they began implementation or planning of identity-related security outcomes in the past two years, and 97 percent will make investments in identity-related security outcomes over the next two years.

USA

ID.me has achieved a Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) Moderate Authority to Operate (ATO) for its Federally certified digital identity verification platform Identity Gateway, the company has announced.

FedRAMP is run by the U.S. government and aims to accelerate the adoption of secure cloud solutions through reuse of assessments and authorizations. The program provides a standardized approach to security assessment and monitoring for cloud products and services.

“This FedRAMP Moderate authorization is a major milestone for ID.me as we continue to build a secure identity layer for federal agencies. In addition to VA, we support the Social Security Administration (SSA) and other federal agencies, as well as 26 states and over 400 leading brands. As government organizations navigate a new digital environment, ID.me is a proven solution for identity verification and login,” says Blake Hall, CEO of ID.me.

ID.me has more than 45 million members, making news this year for the network’s digital identity initiatives, some of them including biometrics, in several U.S. states including Louisiana, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Vietnam

Every citizen in Vietnam will have a digital identity with a QR code by 2025 in an effort to promote the development of digital government.

The aim is to enable citizens, enterprises and other organisations to participate in the operation of government agencies to improve transparency and service quality as well as improving social values.

This was a key point in the e-government development strategy towards building a digital government in the 2021-25 period approved early this week.

The strategy aimed to complete the development targets of e-government by the end of this year to serve the formation of digital government by 2025.