Editorial

Digital Identity: Global Roundup

Digital identity news from around the world

Posted 4 July 2022 by Christine Horton


United Kingdom

Identity verification firm AU10TIX says its machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technology has prevented $2 billion in fraud related losses to businesses since the start of 2022.

Fuelled by the elevated rate of forgery in the financial sector—50 percent higher on average than the overall forgery rate—AU10TIX has expanded its reach to cover approximately half (48 percent) of the total addressable market in digital payments.

“At a time of increasing fraudulent activity and shrinking consumer trust, AU10TIX has seen a 45 percent increase in identity fraud detection, helping businesses to prevent over $2 billion in related losses this year,” said Carey O’Connor Kolaja, CEO, AU10TIX. “We are committed to doing our part in furthering a more secure and inclusive world and to continue fostering trust between financial services, the consumers that use them, and the technology that powers their secure interactions.”

Switzerland

The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) has announced the first use of a verifiable Legal Entity Identifier (vLEI) to sign its 2021 annual report.

GLEIF says the vLEI – a digitally trusted version of the LEI – meets “an urgent, unmet need for automated digital verification of the legal identities of businesses.” It enables a ‘zero trust security’ approach to be enacted across online platforms. It adds that the concept of ‘never trust, always verify’ is crucial in the fight against cybercrime. “The vLEI instills confidence in the verified identity of digital counterparties, allowing them to interact, innovate and collaborate across borders, free of the requirement to perform ongoing arduous and time-consuming verification of an organization’s LEI and persons that represent their organisations manually.”

Finland

Finland has approved a legislative proposal to introduce a digital identification system.

The identification app will work for both in-person and online interactions.

The country is also seeking to revamp the personal identity code system to enable gender-neutral social security numbers.

The government said gender-neutral personal identity codes will not change existing personal identity codes. They will be introduced in 2027 and issued to people born in or moving to Finland after that.

In addition to preventing gender-based discrimination, the government said its objective was to speed up the identity code process for foreign nationals.

Since 2019, the authorities have not considered driving permits valid in situations requiring a strong proof of identity.

The legislative proposals concerning both digital identity and personal identity codes are expected to reach Parliament in the autumn of 2022.

Senegal

Senegal’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Telecommunications has launched a national digital identity project. With the National Digital Identity (INN) project, Senegal hopes to create “a secure and convenient system which is inclusive, can stimulate wealth creation as well as allow state institutions to easily share citizens’ data for official purposes, as part of efforts to modernize the country’s public administration.”

Citizens will be issued a unique identifier which will enable them access state services, as well as those from the private sector.

The digital ID system, expected to be in place by 2024, is estimated to cost $5.2 million, as per Biometric Update.

Cayman Islands

The drafting of the legislation to govern digital identity in the Cayman Islands is complete. However, public consultations to discuss the document are yet to take place, according to the Director in charge of digital government at the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure, Ian Tibbetts.

The National Identification and Registration Act (NIRA) is pending parliamentary approval.

Last year, authorities in the country reportedly suggested linking the national identification number with the taxpayer’s registration number (TRN) to enable citizens have access to a variety of services.

Saudi Arabia

A new platform called ‘Absher’ has been launched for Saudi citizens to renew their national ID cards digitally, using a facial recognition system, without having to visit civil registration offices, writes Saudi Gazette, via Biometric Update.

Officials say the request for renewal of ID cards can be sent through the platform 180 days or less to the expiry of the cards, and users can do so by creating an account on the platform and uploading their photo to it, the outlet mentions. This move is part of the Saudi government’s digital transformation efforts, it indicates.

Thailand

A new mobile ID system has been introduced in Thailand where mobile phone numbers will be used as a replacement for ID cards, according to a tweet by Privacy Matters, a data protection, privacy and human rights group.

The system has been put in place by Thai mobile operator DTAC in collaboration with the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, but Privacy Matters calls it “the commodification of identity” and wonders how close the move is to the GSMA’s mobile connect concept.

Users have been told to register for the mobile ID by taking their ID cards to DTAC offices.

Philippines

Efforts are underway by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to issue a printable version of the national ID card to citizens. This comes as the PSA also intends to increase the number of issued cards by the end of this year, reports Philstar.

The outlet quotes national statistician Dennis Mapa as saying: “The PSA is currently working on increasing the production of the physical ID cards currently printed at the BSP and will launch the printable version of the national ID which can be printed at the PSA registration centers. This will increase the number of registrants with national ID: physical or printable.”

It’s not clear when the issuance of the printable version of the ID card will begin. The PSA says it hopes to reach 92 million biometric ID issuance target by the close of 2022.

Switzerland

Switzerland-based firm Zitadel has raised $2.5 million for the development of an open-source identity and access management (IAM) platform focusing on passwordless digital IDs.

The seed funding was led by Nexus Venture Partners, an investment firm known for supporting a number of enterprise technology and consumer internet ventures.

Developed in the Go programming language, the Zitadel solution provides integrations in multiple languages and frameworks.

According to the company, the IAM platform can also be integrated within open-source projects that were not built for a cloud-native and serverless environment.

United Kingdom

The UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has unveiled a new programme £8.5 million that will see researchers collaborate on biometrics, facial recognition, and other technologies aimed at the development of ethical artificial intelligence (AI) applications in the financial sector.

AHRC, a part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), said the initiative is the first of its kind in the country and will become a stepping stone for the ethical development and use of AI in the UK.

The program will harness the expertise of researchers and innovators, from both humanities and computer science backgrounds, to tackle the complex ethical challenges deriving from algorithmic decision-making.

Canada

Kuma LLC has been accredited by the Digital Identity and Authentication Council of Canada as a Readiness Advisor and certified assessor for the DIACC Voilà Verified Trustmark programme.

The company claims to be the only assessor providing digital identity certifications in both Canada and the US.

The Voilà Verified Trustmark is a way for businesses operating in Canada to show conformance to the privacy, identity assurance, notice and consent, and authentication criteria of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework. It signals trust and security to consumers, government agencies, and private sector services.

United Kingdom / United States

A new Imprivata report, Security and Digital Identity in the Healthcare Industry, has that despite 69 percent of healthcare companies across the US and UK saying identity management is important to their organisation’s security strategy, 51 percent have still experienced a security incident in the last year.

Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents are currently using compliance, audit, and risk reporting technologies to combat these threats. However, only half of the respondents surveyed are using multifactor authentication (MFA), a core security technology that requires multiple verification factors to gain access to data and applications.

Other identity and access management solutions that are being used by less than half of respondents include single sign-on (46 percent), privileged access management (PAM) (42 percent), and role-based provisioning and de-provisioning (35 percent). These solutions, including MFA, represent the foundation of a zero-trust architecture (ZTA). High complexity and poor user compliance are cited as top roadblocks to implementation, while 73 percent said lack of budget is not a challenge for their identity management strategy.

Belgium

Belgium Secretary of State for Digitalization Mathieu Michel has unveiled the creation of a new virtual digital identity card to expand the capabilities of the itsme app.

The digital identity app was first launched five years ago and has since been used by 6.5 million Belgians, according to The Brussels Times.

The use of the itsme solution saw incremental adoption rates across the country during the early stages of the pandemic, as it was the main tool through which citizens could prove their vaccination status (via the Covid Safe Ticket feature).

Itsme allows users to securely identify themselves on a site or application, as well as approve banking transactions, sign documents online, and prove their identity in a variety of other scenarios.

“The highest level of identification must be guaranteed by the State. It is a sovereign function,” said Michel. “Virtual identity should be a prerogative of the Federal State. Identity should not become a regional competence.”

Australia

Mastercard has secured the first of three accreditation roles under the Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF) in Australia.

“We are thrilled to share that we have now successfully secured the first of three roles we applied for, with our accreditation as an identity exchange being confirmed earlier this month,” said Matt Bourne, vice president of digital identity at Mastercard.

The certification assesses the privacy, security, risk management, and usability requirements of Mastercard’s digital ID solution.

Africa

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is urging central banks to help strengthen national digital ID systems and make know your customer (KYC) requirements easier to enforce. It says the rollout of digital currency is gradually gaining traction in Sub Saharan Africa, but countries must have to build the required digital infrastructure and legal framework to facilitate the process.

The IMF report notes that while there are risks and advantages that come with a digital currency, countries which have rolled it out or are planning to do so “will need to improve access to digital infrastructure such as a phone or internet connectivity.”

United Kingdom

Lettings management software firm Propoly has joined forces with Yoti and the Post Office to offer the first certified digital identity service provider (IDSP) for Right to Rent checks, under the UK Digital Identity & Attributes Trust Framework.

A first for the property rental sector, the move will digitise and streamline the entire Right to Rent check process instead of tenants needing to present physical documents. British and Irish citizens who hold a passport, including Irish passport cards, will be eligible.

Potential tenants will have the option of an entirely digital solution or will, in the future, be able to access the service through Post Office branches, for those unable or unwilling to use a digital solution.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong-based digital identity and data solutions provider, Chekk, has signed Bain Capital as its latest customer as it looks to strengthen its know your business (KYB) and KYC processes.

Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Boston, Bain Capital is an alternate investment firm with over 1,200 employees spread across its 18 global offices. It manages approximately $155 billion in assets.

Chekk says its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions enable “instant” KYB (or in minutes) for businesses, corporate customers, merchants, brokers and third parties, and 30-second KYC for individual customers or related business parties.

The firm also enables data portability, providing a single KYB/KYC journey with appropriate encryption and consent management tools.

United Kingdom

UK-based OneID has been certified as a digital identity service provider (ISP) under the UK Digital Identity & Attributes Trust Framework (DIATF).

The company is also one of the first Orchestration Service Providers (OSP) to receive certification. As an OSP, OneID plays the role of a ‘hub’ to connect all of the UK’s high street banks with providers of any online journey that needs customers to identify themselves.

OneID operates a multi-sector scheme that enables bank customers to consent to safely share their bank-verified identity information. It ensures that all businesses in the scheme have been vetted and are given the company’s Trustmark so one knows that the business he is dealing with online is legitimate.

The customer’s journey requires no app or account setup, no scanning of paper documentation or selfie-taking, or data entry. The service enables identity proving for over 40 million people in the UK.

United States

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has unveiled plans to verify individuals’ identities with face biometrics upon submission of trademarks and patents.

The initiative first started in January 2022 as a voluntary procedure and will become mandatory starting August 6, 2022. It will reportedly include options for both paper and digital ID verification.

United Kingdom

TrustID is now a certified digital identity service provider (IDSP) for Right to Work (RtW), Right to Rent (RtR) and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks under the UK Digital Identity & Attributes Trust Framework.

From October 1, 2022, measures for remote RtW and RtR checks will change: the current Covid exemptions that permit video calls and not seeing original identity documents as evidence of RtW or RtR will be replaced by a new option of digital identity checks.

Employers and landlords have until September 30, 2022, to ensure they have the necessary processes in place to carry out fully compliant RtW and RtR checks. This may mean introducing the remote digital Scheme checks for eligible applicants, returning to original document checks or choosing a combination of the two methods.