Digital Identity: Global Roundup

Digital identity news from around the world

Posted 19 July 2021 by Christine Horton


There has been a flurry of activity with digital identity vendors signing Europe-centric agreements this week.

IDnow has signed with Idunion, a coalition for decentralised identity management, with an alignment with European values and regulations.

IDnow is joining the IDunion according to a release which quotes Armin Bauer, Managing Director Technology and Co-Founder of IDnow, as saying: “The introduction of a digital identity solution is an important and necessary step for Europe. After the publication of the EU decision on the EU Digital Identity Wallet, we now need to think about a unified infrastructure”.

Germany recently selected IDunion for the second phase of its innovation competition “Showcase Secure Digital Identities,” an event promoting the development of digital solutions for identity management in Germany.

Meanwhile, London-based Keyless is developing a decentralsed biometric authentication and personal identity management with a focus on user privacy. It has recently been certified for FIDO compliance.

The DizmeID Foundation brings together players to develop self-sovereign identity and ensure it is compliant with existing regulations. Its app Dizme provides distributed digital identity via blockchain technology. Users can control exactly who sees what aspects of their identity such as allowing a potential employer to see a verified digital degree certificate.

Elsewhere, the Sovrin Foundation, which governs the decentralised global Sovrin Network for allowing self-sovereign identity (SSI) on the internet, has formally endorsed the European Self-Sovereign Identity Consortium’s blockchain-enabled ‘network of networks’, according to its website.

“The Sovrin Foundation strongly supports the ESSIC focus on interoperability between SSI initiatives and shall continue to sponsor the growth of SSI through a network of networks.”

The ESSIC network of networks aims to connect identity schemes technically and in terms of governance, including across borders. To achieve this, ESSIC hopes to create an overall European Governance structure to bring interoperability to blockchain-based ID systems that would allow greater privacy to users.


Argentina-based fraud and identity protection company VU has announced $12 million in Series B funding from backers including software developer Globant, as well as Agrega Partners, NXTP Ventures, Bridge One, the IDB Lab and Telefónica. The new funding gives the company total venture-backed investments of $20 million, CEO Sebastián Stranieri told TechCrunch.

Stranieri, who has worked in the cybersecurity industry for the past 20 years, got the idea for VU in 2007 after spending hours helping his grandmother verify her identity with the Argentinian government in what turned out to be a two-minute process.


GBG has announced several senior appointments to strengthen its APAC leadership team in Singapore.

The company has appointed Bernardi Susastyo as General Manager of Asia, Shekhar Bhagat as Head of Alliances of Asia Pacific (APAC) and Ng Han Liong as Head of Presales of Southeast Asia (SEA) to drive GBG’s growth and innovation capabilities across the region.

Bernardi brings with him close to three decades of industry experience and has held various senior leadership positions at Advance.AI, Experian, and SAS. With his extensive knowledge of the SEA financial services industry, Bernardi will be responsible for bolstering GBG’s foothold and establishing market leadership especially in the SEA region.

Meanwhile, Shekhar will be responsible for establishing technology and data partnerships, as well as a network of channel partners to support local sales activation across APAC. Shekhar joins from Experian, where he was Director of Partnership for SEA.

Han Liong is an experienced regional solution leader and compliance specialist, having spent the last 10 years in Oracle, Thomson Reuters, and IBM working with the financial services sector. He will facilitate market penetration efforts and sales readiness to expand our reach into Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines further.

The company said that it will continue to invest in talents and is recruiting more than 100 roles globally, out of which 42 percent will be within the APAC region.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) has revealed that the territory is investigating the use of its digital ID in mainland China.

In a Q&A, Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Mr Alfred Sit, said “the OGCIO is exploring with relevant authorities in the Mainland and Macao the collaboration opportunities between their identity authentication systems and iAM Smart.”

iAM Smart is a marketing abbreviation for “internet Access by Mobile in a Smart way”. It was launched in December 2020 as a “single digital identity” and authentication tool for government transactions. Adopters were promised a one-stop-shop for complete e-forms and documents, renewing car licences, paying taxes and bills, registering to vote, booking vaccines, checking vaccine status and more.

According to The Register, Secretary Sit said opportunities to use iAM Smart across borders include “mutual recognition of electronic signature certificates to promote cross-boundary e-commerce applications, facilitating Hong Kong citizens to use iAM Smart to log in different online services, conduct online transactions, and perform digital signing with legal backing.”


Authorities in the Philippines say they are optimistic the target set this year for registration for the national digital ID card (PhilID) through the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) will be met, given that millions of people are completing various stages of the process.

A report by The Manila Times quoted the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) as saying that the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is sure to register 50 to 70 million people for the national digital ID by the end of the year as projected.

NEDA noted that as of July 2, a total of 37.2 million persons had gone through the Step 1, which involves the collection of demographic information, while 16.2 million others had completed Step 2, which involves the capture of biometrics at designated registration centers, The Manila Times states.


A new digital system will allow police officers to near-instantly check drivers’ identities at the roadside.

PublicTechnology reports the technology, developed by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), enables officers to use a mobile device to rapidly search the Police National Computer to obtain information on a motorist’s driving licence number. This can then be used to search the DVLA databases to obtain the photo linked to the number – enabling police to ascertain whether a driver has provided accurate information and genuine documents. Images are only available to officers on the scene and are not stored on their device.

Before the introduction of the technology, which is already in use across 18 forces around the UK and will soon be deployed by 10 more, these checks took approximately 16 minutes.

The system has already been used to check the identity of almost 90,000 motorists, saving a cumulative total of more than 14,000 hours, the DVLA said, which has resulted in “more time for patrolling, supporting investigations and community work”.


The Canadian government has issued a Request for Information (RFI) as it looks to update the biometric identification system that it uses to screen immigrants and other foreign nationals.

The RFI indicates that the government is looking to engage in a dialogue with stakeholders, and develop a system that will protect the civil liberties of Canadians. That approach stands in contrast to that of the US government, which tends to search for specific solutions without considering the moral or ethical implications of the technology: