Digital Identity: Global Roundup

Digital identity news from around the world

Posted 18 September 2023 by Christine Horton

New Zealand

Digital Identity New Zealand (DINZ) has responded to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) on its consideration of a code of practice for biometrics. DINZ has highlighted the complexities and “potential unintended consequences of introducing regulation through a code rather than starting with strong guidance, awareness, and education in this field.”

DINZ executive director Colin Wallis said there must be a balance between protecting individuals’ privacy and allowing responsible government and business use of biometric data.

“We emphasise the importance of a thoughtful and well-informed approach to considering the potential for regulation of the use of biometrics, tailored to the unique challenges of this technology.

“Biometrics improves the digital experiences of New Zealanders every day in both the public and private sectors. Demonstrable privacy and technical expertise, alongside practical experience combined with good design and implementation, are keys to great outcomes,” he said.


The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has launched a self-service online solution platform for the enrollment of National Identification Number (NIN) and digital identity cards.

The app ‘NIMC Self-service NIN Enrollment and Digital ID’, according to the commission, is an online solution platform that would help people enroll for their NIN in the comfort of their homes.

United States

The equivalent of $212 billion in transactions reported to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in 2021 was related to identity, according to an official at FedID, as reported by NextGov/FCW via Biometric Update.

FinCEN chief digital identity advisor Kay Turner said 1.6 million of 3.8 million events reported over suspicions of money laundering or fraud by financial institutions could be addressed with better use of digital identity technologies.


A new whitepaper from CompTIA and Web3 Advisory Council says decentralised identity is reshaping IT security, giving individuals and organisations greater privacy and better control over where and how their information is used.

The whitepaper also encourages managed service providers (MSPs) to educate themselves on decentralised digital identity credentials so they are prepared to work with their customers to strengthen security and privacy postures.

“Large organizations are deploying decentralized digital identity credentials to safeguard personal data and information,” said Elena Dumitrascu, CTO, Credivera, and co-chair of the CompTIA Blockchain and Web3 Advisory Council. “Small and medium-sized businesses will soon follow. Many organizations will look to their technology partners and providers for their guidance and expertise.”

United States

First Advantage has acquired biometrics technology provider Infinite ID for $41 million in cash to expand its network and identity verification offerings for US customers.

Hicksville, New York-headquartered Infinite ID is a portfolio company of private investment firm Enlightenment Capital and is expected to generate more than $10 million in annual revenues, First Advantage said.

Scott Staples, CEO of First Advantage, said that Infinite ID’s software complements First Advantage’s RightID and Digital Identity Services offerings and that the acquisition is a major milestone toward expanding the company’s product portfolio and core business.

Infinite ID offers biometric identification and authentication tools for defence and intelligence, national security, law enforcement, border security, disaster response and emergency management and corporate security.

First Advantage is an Atlanta, Georgia-headquartered provider of employment background screening and verification services to help employers reduce risk and maintain compliance.


The Kenyan government has unveiled plans to introduce a new national ID system called the ‘Maisha Number’ (also known as the Unique Personal Identifier, or UPI) to provide citizens with a unique digital identifier that can be used throughout their lives. The government has allocated roughly $6.84 million, for the implementation of the system, which will replace the current National ID card.

The Kenyan government has approved four essential digital components for the development and implementation of Digital Identity in the country, including the Maisha Card, Maisha Namba, Digital Signature, and Master National Population Register. These components aim to improve identity management systems and enhance access to government and private-sector services.

The Maisha Number will be issued to all Kenyan citizens at birth, essentially becoming their birth certificate number. It will serve various purposes, including education records, tax identification through the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), and even as a death certificate number upon demise. One of the key features of this new digital ID is its accessibility on mobile phones, allowing citizens to store a digital copy for convenience and security.


New research from ID Crypt Global reports that the global biometric systems market has seen a 145 percent boost in revenue over the past year alone.

The global biometric systems market generated an estimated total revenue of £55.7 billion in 2022. This marks annual growth of 145 percent since 2021 when revenue totalled £22.7 billion – which was itself a 2.25 percent increase on 2020 revenue.

The facial recognition sector alone generated revenues of £4.1 billion in 2022. This is 14 percent higher than 2021, following growth of 29 percent on the previous year.

The voice recognition market also generated revenue of £4.1 billion in 2022 after enjoying annual growth of 14 percent.

But unlike facial recognition which has seen two years of continued growth, 2022’s revenue growth for the voice recognition market was a welcome recovery after recording a sharp drop of -57 percent between 2020 and 2021.