Digital Identity: Global Roundup

Digital identity news from around the world

Posted 15 November 2021 by Christine Horton

United States

Socure says it has raised $450 million from investors led by Accel and T. Rowe Price, making it one of the most valued ventures in the digital verification sector at $4.5 billion.

Reuters reports that Socure’s growth has surged during the pandemic as organisations worldwide have rolled out remote working operations for employees.

Other companies in the identity management space including ForgeRock Inc have gone public, while Okta earlier this year bought smaller rival Auth0 in a $6.5 billion deal to accelerate growth as demand jumps.

The latest funding for Socure comes months after it reportedly raised funds at a valuation of $1.3 billion.


A team of young gymnasts who are excluded from Pakistan’s centralised digital identity system are fighting to be recognised by the state. Biometrics Update reports that if successful, up to three million other people in Pakistan who are currently effectively stateless without the ID card could then be eligible to register.

The Imkaan Gymnastics Teams has been winning top prizes in international competitions held online during the COVID pandemic, but without the national digital ID, the members are prevented from travelling beyond their home base of Karachi to attend further competitions, reports Coda Story.

The children and teenagers in the troupe are typically the children of Bengali-speaking families who have lived in Pakistan for generations – all without legal identity.

The CNICs (Computerised National Identity Cards), often referred to as NICs, are for Pakistani citizens and require stringent documentation and finally biometric capture for issuance. An increasing number of aspects of daily life require the card or the Proof of Registration equivalent for refugees. They are needed for opening bank accounts, school enrolment, employment registration, receiving welfare and buying SIM cards.

Troupe members say they cannot be vaccinated without an NIC, cannot travel, cannot enrol in “big schools” and their parents cannot find work.

United States

Apple is making US states foot part of the bill and provide customer support for its plan to turn iPhones into digital identification cards, according to confidential documents obtained by CNBC.

The company requires states to maintain the systems needed to issue and service credentials, hire project managers to respond to Apple inquiries, prominently market the new feature and push for its adoption with other government agencies, all at taxpayer expense, according to contracts signed by four states.

Apple announced in June that its users could soon store state-issued identification cards in the iPhone’s Wallet app, billing it as a more secure and convenient way for customers to provide credentials in a variety of in-person and remote settings. The feature, when combined with Apple’s biometric security measures like Face ID, could cut down on fraud.

But the move has brought questions from industry observers about why local authorities are ceding control of citizens’ identities to a $2.46 trillion private corporation. Beyond that, the integration of identity into powerful mobile devices has drawn concern from privacy experts about the risk of dystopian scenarios involving surveillance.

United Kingdom

The biometric suppliers and sub-suppliers for the UK Home Office’s forensic border check trial have been unveiled.

The organisations will provide technologies for Home Office to evaluate the effectiveness of systems in which people visiting the UK can submit facial images and fingerprint biometrics for forensic identity checks by immigration authorities.

Trial data will be shared with suppliers Blue Biometrics, FaceTec, Gambit, GBG, Idemia, NEC subsidiary Northgate Public Services, Regula Forensics, Spidx, Teleperformance Contact, Trust Stamp, Thales, Unisys, Veridium, VFS Global, according to the notice.

Sub-suppliers include Aware, DXC, Griaule, ID R&D, InnoValor, NEC National Security Systems, Speed Identity, Tech5 and Vision-Box.

Deloitte, Ingenium Biometric Laboratories, Metro and Forensic Science Services (FSS) are listed as providers of trial support services.


Adelaide City Council passed a motion aimed at preventing South Australia Police (SAPOL) from using facial recognition via a CCTV network planned for deployment in the city by the second half of 2023 until appropriate legislation is developed.

The move was reported by iTnews, according to which Adelaide councillor Phil Martin sought to remove the decisional power of deploying facial recognition from SAPOL (as described in the original proposal), and place it in the hands of South Australia parliament instead.

The upcoming City Safe CCTV network project will be owned by the City of Adelaide and SAPOL, and will reportedly cost the Australian Government around AUS$3 million (US$2.2m).

Procurement is underway for a related biometric surveillance system that will incorporate various technologies, including object tracking, facial and number plate recognition.