Digital Identity: Global Roundup

Digital identity news from around the world

Posted 22 May 2023 by Christine Horton

North America

North America digital identity solutions market is projected to grow by 15.7 percent annually, reaching $39,563 million by 2032, according to new research from Report Ocean. This is owing to rising identity and authentication frauds, digitisation trend with increased integration of biometrics in smartphones, and increased focus on enhanced end-to-end customer experience.


Security experts have expressed concerns over the proposed revision of Article 45.2 of the eIDAS regulation by the European Union (EU), citing potential risks to web authentication and encryption standards. A new report, produced by the Economist Impact Studios for Mozilla and the #SecurityRiskAhead campaign, includes findings from global experts from both industry and civil society.

The report claims that Article 45.2 could weaken cybersecurity for web users, leaving them vulnerable to state surveillance and targeted interception of internet traffic. The law could effectively bypass existing security checks as browsers would be mandated to support EU-designed Qualified Web Authentication Certificates (QWACs). QWACs are not available for free and have weaker security properties than the most commonly-used certificates by browsers.

Joseph Lorenzo Hall, SVP for Strong Internet at the Internet Society said by putting it into legislation, the proposed revision does not take into account the dynamic nature of security threats. “By bolting an exception mechanism on for EU government trusted entities, browsers will be forbidden, for example, from revoking trust for certain things. This means that you could have a group of websites online that are being spoofed or being eavesdropped upon by some compromised EU-anointed authority. And we are handcuffed and cannot do things that we would normally do very quickly to protect the people of the internet.”


Age verification for adult websites may incorporate the rollout of government ID, Australia’s communications minister, Michelle Rowland, has said.

In March, the eSafety commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, delivered a long-awaited report outlining a potential roadmap for verifying that Australian users visiting websites hosting pornography and other adult content are over 18 years old. The roadmap has yet to be released.

Rowland said the government would release the report in the “near future”, but would first need to determine how the government response might cover other reforms, including changes to the Privacy Act and the rollout of government digital ID.

United Kingdom

The Home Office has formally delayed the delivery date of a national biometric system meant to span the country’s immigration, policing, and criminal justice systems. Work on the Home Office Biometrics project had got underway in April of 2014, and its estimated completion date has now been moved from September 30 of 2024 to March 31 of 2025. Fujitsu had been awarded a five-year contract to provide biometric matching technology in 2018, but is now expected to be replaced with another vendor by the Home Office after the project’s delays.


The Italian government has allocated €40 million to resolving a dispute involving the nation’s two digital identification programmes, the SPID and the CIE.

SPID, or the public system for digital ID, is used by citizens to log in for online government services and managed by private companies, some of which charge for ID activation.

The agreement giving life to the SPID ended last year but had its contract with the government extended. The money would keep the SPID program functioning, says Biometric Update.

CIE stands for electronic ID card, Italy’s official digital and physical ID, which costs €16.79. The Italian government wants to fold the SPID program into CIE, which, as a state ID programme, is controlled by Rome.

According to a Wired Italy article, an agreement has yet to be finalised, but the money has made it more likely.


The Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (NAMFISA) has signed a partnership agreement with Nigeria-based digital identity and selfie biometrics provider Prembly to set up a regulatory sandbox that will enhance digital innovation for tech startups.

Under the deal, the partners will maximise all opportunities to help drive innovation by building “an inclusive and interoperable digital ID framework for Namibia favourable for advancing its digital economy pursuits.”