Digital Identity: Global Roundup

Digital identity news from around the world

Posted 28 June 2021 by Christine Horton


IDVerifact has partnered with EnStream in an effort to raise its profile in Canada. EnStream uses subscriber and phone data to link an individual to a mobile device, which in turn lets third parties use that information to confirm the identities of the people using their services.

The subscriber information that powers the EnStream platform comes directly from Canada’s three leading telecoms companies. TELUS, Rogers, and Bell Mobility provide coverage for 90 percent of the Canadian market, and have direct access to information like name, address, and date of birth, all of which get tied to a mobile number when someone makes a mobile account.

Organisations can then reference EnStream during onboarding to authenticate the device itself, and make sure that it belongs to the person completing the registration process. The solution is designed to provide an extra layer of identity verification for organizations in sensitive fields like government and finance, though it can be deployed in other industries.

IDVerifact is a Prodigy Ventures subsidiary that also offers identity verification and onboarding services. The company will integrate EnStream into its own platform to provide Canadian customers with more comprehensive identity capabilities, with a solution that functions in real-time without the need for preloaded software.


The Government has been accused of trying to usher in national ID cards “by the backdoor” after one firm awarded a vaccine passport contract boasted about being able to “redeploy” them into a national identity programme, as per i.

Entrust was awarded a contract by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) last month to work on the Government’s Covid vaccine certification system.

The company was handed £250,000 to provide cloud computing software for the Covid-status certification scheme run by the Government’s digital health unit, NHSX.

Jann Markey, Entrust’s product marketing director, wrote: “With the infrastructure and investment necessary to ensure a viable vaccine passport, why not redeploy this effort into a national citizen ID programme that can be used for multiple purposes including the secure delivery of government services, secure cross-border travel, and documentation of vaccination.”

Entrust also hosted a webinar in January detailing how vaccine passports would enable governments “to collect valuable data” about citizens.

The company has already helped roll out national ID systems in Albania, Ghana and Malaysia using its digital technology.

The Minnesota-based firm has previously been awarded seven other contracts to produce technology for different Government bodies.

The contract with DHSC, which is due to expire in March 2022, can be extended for one year, meaning Entrust could be working on any vaccine passport scheme until 2023.

But MPs and civil liberties groups have slammed the Government for signing a contract with the firm, claiming it marks the first step on the road to a national ID programme.

David Davis, former Cabinet minister and member of the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) of Tory MPs, described the contract as “sinister” and demanded further explanation from the Government.

He told i: “The health department is able to go around signing these contracts without explicit Parliamentary permission. But it is doubly extraordinary that they sign one with a company with this sinister attitude to surveillance of citizens.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith added that the contract “runs counter to the stated position of the Government and should be scrapped”.

Jake Hurfurt, head of research at civil liberties group Big Brother Watch told i that “Covid certificates would introduce ID cards in the UK by the backdoor.

“The fact that the government has done a deal with Entrust, a company which is openly plotting a route from vaccine passports to digital identity cards, only underlines what a serious threat Covid passes would be to our civil liberties and our privacy,” he said.

Hong Kong

Prove has integrated TransUnion’s TruValidate identity verification feature into its offering to launch a new, instant, digital identity solution in Hong Kong.

The launch into this new market continues Prove’s expansion of its Phone Identity Network into approximately 60 countries around the globe.

The Prove solution will allow firms with a global footprint to extend their eKYC, identity verification, and authentication coverage to Hong Kong. With a high smartphone penetration, Hong Kong is a strategic addition to Prove’s Phone Identity Network, with the firm claiming it is helping clients bring an easier and more secure identity verification experience to millions of customers.

“The solution will help businesses better secure customer journeys and help stop fraud before it happens. With unique machine learning algorithms, Prove provides the essential technology to ensure that data is as accurate as possible,” it says.

Customers will also be able to access Prove’s unique Possession, Reputation, and Ownership (PRO)-based identity authentication capabilities, such as one-time passcodes, secure links, Trust Score, behavioural biometrics, and push authentication, to orchestrate end-to-end identity and fraud solutions leveraging Phone-Centric Identity.


A consortium led by LG CNS has won a government contract for a mobile driver’s licence that uses decentralised identity (DID) technology. The mobile driver’s license will be a digital national identity credential based on a driver’s license issued by the National Police Agency. It is equivalent to the existing plastic driver’s licences and plans to launch by year’s end.

While this certainly isn’t the first national digital identity – for example, Estonia has had one for years and uses blockchain – it may be the first national identity based on DID technology and blockchain.

The other consortium partners are Sysone and Raon Secure, a founder of the DID Alliance and the OmniOne blockchain.

“Through DID technology that realizes sovereign identity (SSI), all citizens will be able to enjoy the next-generation identification service that is safer and more convenient than the existing system,” said Lee Soon-hyeong, Raon Secure’s CEO.

Last year, the major telecoms firms in Korea launched a commercial app, Pass, that performs a similar function by enabling someone to store a copy of their plastic driver’s license on the mobile phone for similar verification. Raon Secure says the difference is “the government mobile driver’s licence is issued by the National Police Agency through a strong security process.”