Editorial

Digital Identity: Global Roundup

Digital identity news from around the world

Posted 22 November 2021 by Christine Horton


United Kingdom / United States

GBG is to acquire US Identity Verification and Identity Fraud prevention business Acuant for $736 million.

Chester-based GBG is a global technology business with a £1.7bn market cap, with more than 20k clients globally, including John Lewis, and PayPal. Acuant serves 1,000 customers across the US, Mexico and the UK.

The acquisition increases GBG’s US presence and global expansion and will accelerate its own data, product and platform strategy by approximately two years through products and IP. It will also provide entry into new sectors.

United States

Digital ID contracts signed between Apple and each of four US states make taxpayers responsible for the costs of maintaining systems for credential issuance, customer support, and promoting the adoption of digital identity technologies to consumers and government agencies, CNBC has discovered through public records requests.

Apple also has sole discretion over important elements of the programmes, under the contracts with Georgia, Arizona, Kentucky and Oklahoma.

Australia

The NSW government has announced it is working on a new whole-of-government approach towards digital identity aimed at giving customers the option to use digital credentials for various licences, certifications, qualifications, and eligibility documents, reports ZDNet.

The government has also expressed interest in procuring two new digital identity systems: One to deliver digital proof of identity and the other for digital identity sharing.

The NSW government envisions that the first system will have features such as facial matching and liveness detection to allow customers to easily provide their identity digitally for use cases such as renewing a licence or certificate.

The second system, aimed at enabling digital identity sharing, would provide customer digital identity and verifiable credential capabilities for the purposes of credential validation and securely sharing identity across a variety of services.

Alongside these two tenders, the NSW government is seeking consultation on how it should approach providing digital identity services from a privacy, security, and use case standpoint.

United States

Idemia Identity and Security North America has won a six year contract with two one-year extension options for biometric enrollment services with the US State of Indiana.

Biometric Updates reports that the contract includes fingerprint biometric data capturing and the back-end system to process the prints, along with support. The technology and support will be provided to Indiana State Police and other agencies. Idemia has provided biometrics enrollment services to more than 370 Indiana state and county agencies since it began a relationship with the state in 2009.

The appointment registration system, livescan solution, and backend biometric solution provided by Idemia will all be upgraded under the new contract.

Canada

The government of Ontario has delayed the launch of its digital ID programme, saying it has been put back following the launch of its digital health pass verification app, CTV News reports.

The Associate Ministry of Digital Government had to redirect resources away from the planned digital ID programme to develop the Verify Ontario app, and it will now be launched at an unspecified date in 2022. A spokesperson suggested that the additional time was necessary to ensure the system has robust privacy and security protections.

Kuwait

Biometric Update this week reported on several updates from around the globe. The first is from Kuwait, where its Mobile ID application has been updated by the Public Authority for Civil Information to include an integrated digital wallet for storing digital versions of ID documents like driver’s licences and birth certificates, along with other documents, as per the Kuwait Times.

Registration is completed with a biometric liveness check, and the digital wallet can then integrate documents from various government agencies, providing a QR code to verify documents’ validity.

The new features also include a password reset mechanism that also uses biometric liveness detection, as well as information on third doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Slovenia

Slovenia will roll out its new digital ID cards with embedded biometric data for compliance to EU standards in March, after a production agreement was signed by the government and Slovenian commercial printer Cetis. The cards will cost Slovenians €29 (US$33) each.

Singapore

All government agencies in Singapore have begun accepting digital identity cards presented through the SingPass mobile app for in-person services.

There are exceptions for a handful of processes legally requiring physical documents, such as marriage registration, but the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) and Government Technology Agency (GovTech) say they are working on amendments to the law to enable digital ID use.

Privacy and security features of the digital ID include protection of the individual’s ID number unless the user performs authentication with a passcode or fingerprint or face biometrics.

The government is also reportedly in talks with private businesses such as telecom operators to use the digital ID credentials.

United States

Synaptic Identity has formed a partnership with Trinsic Technologies to bring its decentralised digital identity platform selfDID to the US market in support of self-sovereign identity (SSI).

The selfDID platform utilises blockchain and SSI technologies for secure storage and sharing of identity and other credentials. Synaptic Identity provides the technology and the ecosystem in which is it used, with a digital wallet connecting the two.

United Kingdom

London-based digital identity provider Yoti is partnering with Galaxkey, an end-to-end email encryption platform, and Image Analyzer, a messaging platform that detects explicit content before it is sent, rather than after the fact. With these partnerships, Yoti intends to create an end-to-end secure messaging platform. Also, it partnered with video and image moderation company DragonflAI.

Working in partnership with Galaxkey & Image Analyzer and DragonflAI, Yoti will be looking to tackle child sexual abuse and demonstrate how end-to-end encryption and AI-powered image analysis could be used to create secure solutions that protect young people online.