Editorial

Digital Identity: Global Roundup

Digital identity news from around the world

Posted 5 July 2021 by Christine Horton


United Kingdom

Fake driving licences are the main source of digital wallet fraud attempts, as a study in UK shows.

Digital identity and verification vendor Fourthline has released findings from its Digital Identity Fraud Analysis Tool, which looked specifically at the different ways fraudsters have attempted to create digital wallet accounts in the UK. The UK Digital Wallet ID Fraud Pulse, analysed data over the period January 2021 to June 2021, to reveal criminals most used counterfeit driving licences when attempting to open a new digital wallet account.

It found driving licences are the most common counterfeited identity document used to open a fraudulent digital wallet in the UK, with 55.2 percent of all fraud attempts. Greater London is the counterfeit ID hotspot for digital wallet opening attempts in the UK – 33.6 percent of all fraud attempts were recorded in Greater London, followed by 20.6 percent in Yorkshire and Humber.

Singapore / United Kingdom

Singapore and the United Kingdom have begun discussions on bilateral agreements aimed at promoting digital trade and new opportunities, such as cross-border data flow and the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). This move follows a similar agreement that Singapore has already signed with Chile and New Zealand.

The UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (UKSDEA) will facilitate digital business between the two countries, according to a joint statement released Monday by Singapore’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Ministry of Communications and Information and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

“This includes establishing forward-looking rules to enable reliable cross-border data flow, prohibit data localization, and ensure high levels of data protection,” the agency said.

They added that the agreement would enable “seamless” digital trade and business through “interoperable digital systems” and link ecosystems in both markets. You can also consider using new technologies such as AI, and cybersecurity collaboration is supporting the effort.

In addition, bilateral negotiations aim to leverage their respective financial hubs to assess potential cooperation and start-up opportunities between the two technology ecosystems.

Monaco

Monaco citizens and residents ca now access digital identity services associated to their ID card. No additional proof of identity is needed to access different functions from both State and private partner services.

The solution from IN Groupe “complies with Monaco legislation around data protection and meets government expectations in line with the physical and digital uses of Monaco citizens and residents of the Principality.”

The digital ID in Monaco is built into the new electronic ID card which can be used on a smartphone or PC.

Philippines

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has assured the public that its PhilID card will ensure their digital ID security by guarding against fraud and identity theft.

The explanation comes as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) have called for wider acceptance of the card as a valid tool for carrying out public and private transactions, according to separate press releases from the PSA.

The front side of the PhilID card reportedly has 13 features in all, three of which are covert; a color shifting print, microprinted texts and a guilloche design. These covert features, the PSA says, cannot be counterfeited and are meant to guarantee the security and authenticity of the card.

The back of the digital ID card contains some of the holder’s demographic information including sex, blood type, marital status, and place of birth as well as a QR code that can be scanned to determine the holder’s PSN (PhylSys Number), a barcode for the card’s serial number and a microprint of the PSN.

Distribution of the PhilID has been ongoing for those who have completed the Step 2 biometrics enrollment, and the PSA says a total of 561,042 cards had been put at the disposal of the PHLPost for delivery to their owners as of June 17.

Belgium

Belgium has launched its Digital COVID Certificate (DCC), with digital trust services provided by ZetesConfidens, Zetes’ digital transaction security business unit.

The EU DCC was approved earlier in June, and is already in use by several countries within the bloc. ZetesConfidens provides the digital signatures embedded in QR codes to ensure the authenticity of the presented data, through its public key infrastructure (PKI). The PKI setup was completed in less than a week, according to the announcement, enabling acceptance of Belgium’s DCC on the European gateway for EU Member States to exchange trust information.

United Kingdom

British AI startup Onfido is reportedly considering a New York IPO rather than listing in London, after 200 percent year-on-year growth in its North America business.

London-headquartered Onfido has begun swapping British accounting standards for American, in preparation for a “potential US IPO in the near future”, The Telegraph first reported.

The AI startup, which helps firms like Microsoft, Volkswagen and Orange to verify customer identities, is currently valued at around £345m.

Onfido announced a $100m funding round in April 2020 that included US investor TPG Growth, bringing the total amount invested in the company to $200m.

Co-founder Husayn Kassai said at the time that the company planned to use the cash mostly to bolster its presence in the US, its largest and fastest growing market.

Canada

Air Canada has partnered with Amadeus to develop its digital health pass solution through its airline app, Simple Flying reports as per Biometric Update.

The solution is being trialled on flights from Frankfurt to Toronto and Montreal, with travellers provided a link to submit their COVID-19 test document through a QR code when checking in. Travelers must have been tested at one of two Centogene test centres, one of which is in Frankfurt Airport. Because Canada does not accept antigen tests, passengers must purchase PCR tests.

United Arab Emirates

Emirates has expanded its IATA Travel Pass pilot to 10 cities, and is planning to expand it to operation for all routes in the weeks ahead.

Customers on Emirates flying between Dubai and any of London, Barcelona, Madrid, Istanbul, New York JFK, Moscow, Frankfurt, Charles De Gaulle, and Amsterdam can use the IATA Travel Pass to share health status such as vaccination proof or PCR test results.

Emirates also plans to integrate the Alhosn app, the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Health and Prevention’s official COVID-19 testing channel, with its check-in system in July.

Vietnam

Vietnam is about to launch a trial for its digital health pass, according to Saigon Online.

The country is preparing to reopen tourism in areas where its COVID-19 outbreak is considered under control. The Ministry of Health is working with a provincial government to implement the guidelines for a trial of its COVID vaccine passport.

Australia

Australia’s eftpos Group has rolled out its new digital identity service as a standalone fintech subsidiary.

The new venture, dubbed connect ID and developed in conjunction with SecureKey, is now live, with the aim of making it easier for Australians to share, store and receive personal identity information online.

ConnectID acts as ‘broker’ between organisations that securely hold identity data on behalf of their customers, and merchants or government departments that need to verify who they are dealing with or receive identity information that they can trust.

Designed to work within the Federal Government’s Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF) and the financial industry’s TrustID framework, the business has applied to become the first non-government accredited operator of a digital identity exchange in Australia.

Germany / France

IDnow, a German-based vendor of identity verification-as-a-service solutions, is to acquire ARIADNEXT, a French company specialising in remote identity verification and digital identity creation.

With IDnow and ARIADNEXT joining forces, the companies say they can provide one identity verification platform, ranging from AI driven to human-assisted technology and from online to point-of-sale verification options. The combination further increases the services IDnow offers to the UK, French and German markets, as well as to international customers with identity verification needs across several jurisdictions and use cases.

On the back of strong adoption of digital identity products, IDnow expects to increase revenue 3x in 2021 versus 2019 and is on track to continue accelerating this growth momentum.

Liechtenstein

Around a third of Liechtenstein’s citizens now have an active electronic identity (eID) a year after launch.

“After a little more than a year, we can look back on a very positive interim status. Around one third of all Liechtenstein citizens have activated their personal eID.li and are using the services of the public authorities digitally,” said Lukas Praml, CEO of the Austrian State Printing House (OSD).

Since the launch of the free app for iOS and Android, more than 12,000 citizens of the Principality have already activated their personal eID.li.

The contract for the Liechtenstein eID was awarded to European Trust Service GmbH, a joint venture of the OSD and CRYPTAS International GmbH.

Belgium

Belgian digital ID app itsme has raised €24.7 million ($29.3 million) in funding to take further steps towards providing a European digital identity, reports Nieuwsblad.

The funding round was led by the Federal Participation-Investment Company (FPIM), with participation from existing investors. The deal gives FPIM a fifth of itsme shares, and the public funding body intends the investment to be used to expand itsme into a pan-European digital identity provider.

Itsme is used in Luxembourg, and the app recently launched in the Netherlands and partnered with iProov for biometric liveness detection with its Genuine Presence Assurance technology.

The itsme app was developed by a consortium formed by Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING Belgium, KBC, Orange, Proximus and Telenet, which are now joined by FPIM. The latter contributed €14.5 million ($17.2 million) to the round, while each of the existing investors other than Orange chipped in €1.7 million ($2 million).

Itsme is up to 3.5 million users, according to the report.

United States

The US Congress wants federal agencies to collaboratively help revamp the infrastructure that supports Americans’ digital identities online.

Via the Improving Digital Identity Act introduced last week, Reps. Bill Foster, D-Ill., John Katko, R-N.Y., Jim Langevin, D-R.I., and Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., propose a multi-pronged approach to update what they view as a “lagging” verification system.

“The work and routine of daily life is increasingly done online—whether it’s banking, investing, shopping, or even communicating with doctors—and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated this digital evolution,” Foster said.

“It’s become vitally important to ramp up safeguards to protect against identity theft and fraud, so consumers and businesses can have confidence in online transactions and the peace-of-mind of protecting sensitive information.”