Editorial

Digital Identity: Global Roundup

Digital identity news from around the world

Posted 17 January 2022 by Christine Horton


Ireland

Canada-based identity verification company Trulioo has enhanced its identity verification services in Ireland through Trulioo GlobalGateway, a network of identity data and services.

With GlobalGateway, organisations can securely access over 450 data types to perform identity checks on consumers that adhere to Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations.

The expanded identity services include a host of data sets unique to Ireland that provide deeper visibility into the market. The enhanced coverage will enable organisations to verify attributes like age, identity, and address within the parameters of data privacy laws like GDPR.

United Kingdom

A sharp divide is starting to emerge globally between the ‘have’s’ and the ‘have not’s’ when it comes to digital versions of a national identity scheme, says Kevin Cunnington, the former head of the Government Digital Service (GDS) at the UK Government.

According to Futurescot, Cunnington was speaking at a webinar hosted by the Global Government Forum. He said the big problem is that there is largely a ‘siloed’ experience of using government services and a lack of sharing of a ‘golden record’ of citizen data.

“The solution to this is obvious,” said Cunnington at the launch of the new Digital Leaders Study, published by GGF, which is based on interviews with seven national digital leaders across the world.

“You create a single digital identity for every citizen and you use that to ensure that we keep a single golden record of their data to at least make sure that their data is consistent across all the siloes of government. It turns out this is the great digital divide – this is crossing the Rubicon, the Rosetta Stone of government.

“If you can create this digital identity you can move forward and produce very joined up services very quickly because you can bring datasets together. If you can’t you end up getting really quite stuck.”

Australia

The Government of the state of Western Australia (WA) has launched a digital identity app dubbed ServiceWA which it says will enable users show proof of their vaccination status, check in at businesses and venues, and access their G2G Pass for interstate travel conveniently.

A release on the WA government website states that in order to make use of the app, users will have to set up a digital identity to be able to prove who they are, thus making the application safe, secure and not easily accessible by anyone not clearly identified. People can register on the app using other ID documents such as their passports, driver’s license or Medicare card.

While registered on the app, Western Australians will not be expected to show any other proof of their identity before having access to venues or services that require ID verification. This is not the case with the COVID digital certificate carried on smartphones or in hardcopies.

Finland

Cybersecurity services company Nixu is contributing its Managed Identity and Access Management (MIAM) service to a national Finnish digital identity authentication service in development.

The national digital identity initiative will see the additional support of Yleisradio, Alma Media, and Digital Living International, which together with Nixu established Finland’s Authentication Cooperative (Suomen Tunnistautumisosuuskunta).

The new digital identity infrastructure was originally known as SisuID, and aims to provide commercial authentication services around the world with a national cost-effective alternative that is both secure and privacy-friendly.

Under the terms of the new agreement, Nixu will be responsible for the technical development and maintenance of the authentication service. The company will also receive a sum “on the level of a few million euros” to provide the project with its MIAM service over the next three years.

Germany

Ontology, the project ‘bringing trust, privacy, and security to Web3 through decentralised identity and data solutions’, has announced the opening of a new European office in Berlin, Germany.

Ontology says the move reflects Europe’s efforts to increase data privacy and protection through legislation such as GDPR. In addition, the European Commission’s endorsement of digital identity as a more secure and convenient means for data storage and exchange for citizens makes Germany an ideal environment for Ontology’s expansion.

ONT ID, Ontology’s decentralised digital identity application surpassed 1.5 million users in September 2021. Other products include the ONTO wallet, which allows users to manage their identities, data, and digital assets securely.

Poland

Poland has added HID Global’s DigitalPersona 5300 fingerprint biometric readers into its national digital ID infrastructure with the aim of incorporating certain security features to its national ID card in compliance with directives of the European Parliament, as per Biometric Update.

The European Parliament in recent resolution EU 2019/1157 obliged member-states to strengthen security on their national ID cards using face and fingerprint biometrics to facilitate travel for citizens within the bloc using just ID cards. The biometric component of the security features is required for people 12 years old and above, per the resolution.

HID Global writes in a blog post that it was as a result of this development that they were contacted by the Polish government to assist in the implementation of the project.

Its fingerprint readers then were deployed to more than 2,000 Polish locations and integrated into the country’s ID infrastructure within a period of just 40 days. The readers, which are designed for large-scale civil ID enrolments and authentication, according to the company, will be used to capture the fingerprints of Polish citizens within a matter of seconds to prove their identity.