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Mission Billion Challenge offers $100K in prizes for identity data privacy innovation

Mission Billion Challenge offers $100K in prizes for identity data privacy innovation

Cash prizes totaling $100,000 are being offered for the most promising solutions to enhance trust and protect personal data from misuse and breach by the World Bank Group’s Identification for Development (ID4D) initiative, as part of the Mission Billion Challenge.

Mission Billion will crowdsource innovation for strengthening the data privacy of digital identification systems and empowering users with greater control over their own data. The top prize available is $50,000, and finalists will be invited to present their solutions at a high-level event around the World Bank Group’s Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C. in April.

One billion people around the world are still without legal proof of their identity, and nearly half of all women in low-income countries, which often prevents participation in a wide range of services, from health and education to financial and social services. UN Sustainable Development Goal 16.9 sets a goal of universal ID by 2030, and the Principles on Identification for Sustainable Development, which have been endorsed by 24 international organizations and development partners, highlight the importance of data privacy in this effort.

“Digital identification systems can play a transformational role across key areas such as financial inclusion, access to services and social safety nets, and effective humanitarian response. Yet this can also create important privacy challenges,” says World Bank Vice President for Infrastructure Makhtar Diop. “The Mission Billion Challenge offers an exciting opportunity to tap into the most creative minds to help us design digital identification systems to enhance data protection and empower people with greater control over their personal data.”

The Mission Billion Challenge is being operated on the MIT Solve platform, where applicants can submit their innovations, and is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Australian Government, Omidyar Network, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.

The World Bank ID4D initiative also includes work in support of ‘Good ID’ in approximately 40 countries, with trust-promoting legal frameworks, technical standards for interoperability and flexibility, and inclusive approaches. The Mission Billion Challenge was initially launched in October, 2018.

The submission deadline for the Mission Billion Challenge is February 24, 2019.

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