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Local authorities around the world have their eye on implementing digital IDs

Expect a big push this year.

Countries and companies around the world are stepping up efforts to introduce digital IDs.

The main concerns around such projects are people’s privacy and security, as a digital identity is made up of information such as a person’s name, date of birth, social security number, their electronic transactions, medical history, etc., that are linked to identifiers like email addresses and domain names.

According to a World Economic Forum editorial penned by Deloitte’s cyber risk director Colin Soutar a lot of work has already been invested in creating trust between countries to help the travel industry, as well as in reaching an agreement on a “neutral expression to support face biometric checks.”

But repeating a similar result when it comes to digital IDs and what he refers to as cross-system digital identity could prove to be a harder task to accomplish, Soutar writes.

Deloitte’s recommendation is to make digital IDs user controlled, and feature “shared signals within a broad ecosystem to protect against threats.”

And this work is now progressing on four continents, in different formats, biometricupdate.com reveals.

Canada’s Ontario province plans to launch digital IDs for individuals and businesses late this year that will not be mandatory, while eID-Me developed by Bluink is available in the whole country, although it is not yet considered a legal ID.

The US state of Delaware has already rolled out optional mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs) that contain biometric data verifying a holder’s age and identity.

In New Orleans, a Digital ID project is being developed as part of the “smart city” program whose goal will be to allow vulnerable categories of people to access benefits, public transportation and make payments.

In Australia, identity broker Eftpos’ connectID has entered the pilot phase in the Queensland state government and Australia Post’s Digital iD.

But Jamaica’s plans to introduce digital ID are criticized by groups like Access Now, who fear that excessive collection and use of biometric data could undermine human rights.

They recommend minimizing data collection and setting up an overseeing authority that would act independently.

Meanwhile, Scotland plans to introduce an identity service for interactions with the public sector.

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