Editorial

Digital Identity: Global Roundup

Digital identity news from around the world

Posted 9 May 2022 by Christine Horton


Australia

Digital identity is the “golden digital thread” and is the top priority of the Service NSW, according to state Digital Government Minister Victor Dominello.

Addressing the future.nsw conference, Dominello reiterated his commitment to develop a state digital identity and encouraged attendees to put consumers in control of their digital services.

“[Digital identity] is the number one priority of our office because it is literally that golden digital thread and if we get the protections in place around it, then it will absolutely significantly reduce risks around cyber,” he said, via InnovationAus.

“What comes with cyber is identity theft, and financial theft and a whole lot of other problems and scourges that we’re fighting every day. Also, if we can put the safeguards and the trust around it then it provides that seamless pathway into health into education so that you got more time…to do things you want to do rather than mucking around with government agencies.”

United Kingdom

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has taken on further support for its work on the One Login programme.

According to UK Authority, it has agreed on a one-year contract, worth up to £3 million, with consultancy 6 Point 6 for architecture services as part of the programme to develop a new sign-in mechanism for central government services.

The deal has been called off from the G-Cloud procurement framework in response to an “urgent requirement” to “maintain ongoing momentum on delivery” of the programme.

Key deliverables include an urgent review of the architecture to date, an analysis of risks and benefits, a gap analysis against work already completed, oversight and assurance on designing the technical architecture for digital identity, developing standards for security and architecture, and developing appropriate governance mechanisms.

It also identifies a need for expertise in AWS architecture, an area in which 6 Point 6 claims as one of its prime services.

France

Newly re-elected French President Emmanuel Macron has officially signed the Digital Identity Guarantee Service (SGIN) decree into law. The decree was signed on April 26, and aims to provide French citizens with a secure digital identity that can be used to gain access to various government services. The SGIN utility will eventually be delivered through a mobile app developed by the government of France.

The bill is in keeping with a broader trend in the European Union, where more and more countries have started introducing support for some form of digital ID, notes Mobile ID World. Luxembourg launched its own mobile ID app in April, while France’s own bill was passed in an effort to comply with the European Commission’s latest Digital Identity guidelines.

The bill that Macron actually signed states that participation in the SGIN programme is voluntary, and that citizens are not obligated to participate.

Europe

Digital identity firms, specialists and academics have been providing feedback on the documentation created by the eIDAS Expert Group on how digital identity and wallets could be integrated and trusted across the European Union, says Biometric Update. The feedback on the draft Architecture and Reference Framework (ARF) document has been collated by digital transition advisory SGM Consultancy, as announced by its president Stephane Mouy in a LinkedIn post.

The assessments range from recommendations to change single words or diagram arrows in the draft ARF, to tackling fundamental issues for digital wallet rollout and asking questions such as who is going to verify the verifiers. As a collection of feedback it may be useful beyond the EU’s eIDAS project for similar schemes around the world, as could upcoming pilots of real-world use cases of digital wallets.

Finland

The CSC, the Finnish IT Center for Science, considers proposals by the Finnish government for national digital identity to be generally justified and supportable but users will need to understand the mechanisms for control of the data they share and there must be clarity on who pays the fees for transactions, according to a statement for which there is a short summary available in English.

The CSC cautions that the plan must adhere to national regulations and also be inline with the EU’s eIDAS regulation.

Self-sovereign aspects of the digital identity scheme are welcomed, but the organisation warns that users will need support to understand this and make informed decisions on sharing their information.

Switzerland

Biometric Update also reports on the Swiss Federal Council’s agreement to work on draft regulation on decentralised digital identity that would grant citizens control of their data to be ready for consultation by summer 2022.

The development collaborative digitalswitzerland has brought together the government, private sector, civil society and academia to discuss and strategize the transition to an ecosystem of digital credentials.

A report has been produced as a first look at the possibilities, issues and how to introduce an overall ecosystem and ensure a significant level of take-up and interaction. The report considers that the larger the ecosystem at launch, the more likely it is to be adopted. The government providing the verifiable data registry as a public service will keep down costs for its users, also improving take-up.

The authors understand from systems being created elsewhere that making adoption compulsory for accessing e-government services will significantly increase sign-up, and that not making services available electronically with the e-ID undermines trust in the e-ID ecosystem.