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OSIA Advisory Committee sets priorities for open standard biometric systems development

OSIA Advisory Committee sets priorities for open standard biometric systems development

The priorities agreed to at the first meeting of the SIA-launched OSIA Advisory Committee have been announced by the organization, laying out an agenda of updating and modifying current specifications and use cases, establishing an OSIA certification program, and developing an appropriate contractual framework focussed on assuring data portability, interoperability, and enabling seamless exits.

OSIA stands for ‘Open Standards Identity APIs,’ and is a global initiative launched by SIA at last year’s ID4Africa event. The Advisory Committee was launched in August, and the meeting was held in November. The establishment of priorities positions the initiative to accelerate its efforts towards meeting interoperability challenges within the identity sector across Africa and around the world.

Representatives of private industry and senior government officials from Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda make up the committee.

“Irrespective of political, technical or cultural differences, all the governments represented on the OSIA Advisory Committee are focused on working with the industry to find a solution to the problems of interoperability and lock-in,” comments Engr. Aliyu Abubakar Aziz, Director General/CEO, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) of Nigeria and Chair of OSIA Advisory Committee. “In OSIA we believe we have found it, and we made tremendous progress. Our task is now to raise awareness of OSIA in our home markets to ensure government institutions understand its real-world benefits.”

Companies participating in the committee are Coppernic, Dermalog, Digitech, Gemalto – a Thales Company, Gravity, HID Global, Idemia, IN Groupe, Intercede, Laxton, Orange, Veridos and VFS.

“Back in 2018, we listened and understood the concerns of governments and set out to develop a simple solution based on the core principles of sovereignty, technical neutrality and privacy by design. With API connectivity, OSIA enables the creation of an open interoperable ID ecosystem built with data security and customer consent at its heart,” says OSIA Working Group Chair Debora Comparin, who spoke to Biometric Update about the initiative’s launch last year.

Secure Identity Alliance Chair Philippe Barreau says the meeting, which included 22 governments, illustrates the momentum OSIA has already generated.

“As we accelerate into 2020 and beyond, we will continue to have frank and open discussions between the industry and governments to ensure OSIA is continuously improved and implemented for a tangible impact on economies and citizens around the world,” Barreau adds.

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