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Most Canadians want digital identity for online government services, DIACC plans its role

Bluink digital ID solution launches in fourth province
Most Canadians want digital identity for online government services, DIACC plans its role

Digital versions of ID documents like driver’s licenses and health cards are considered convenient 10 percent more by Canadians than in 2019, according to a survey by Interac, which says the results make plain the need for digital IDs. Two-thirds of Canadians say they would use a digital ID if it enhances the protection of their identity data.

Half or more say it is more important than before the pandemic to have health and government services accessible online, and 58 percent have been transacting without physical contact more often than they did before. Three-quarters of Canadians want government services brought online during the COVID-19 pandemic to remain available.

“The pandemic has fueled a greater need for innovation as Canadians recognize that digital access is needed not only to make life more convenient, but also to increase the speed by which Canadians can access government services in a crisis,” said Mark O’Connell, President and CEO, Interac Corp. “Physical identities can no longer be the status quo, and secure digital-first solutions, underpinned by government, must be adopted to meet the changing needs of Canadians.”

The survey also showed more Canadians place an emphasis on transparency than in 2019 (70 percent to 58 percent).

Fifty-three percent say they would use digital ID to access government services, and 51 percent say the government should prioritize digital ID issuance in addition to physical IDs.

Interac is working alongside subsidiary 2Keys Corporation to bring digital identification solutions to market, according to the announcement, to address the demand indicated by the survey.

DIACC publishes five-year plan

A five-year strategic plan for digital identity has been published by the Digital Identity and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC)

The 16-page document outlines the digital identity landscape in the country as it currently is, noting that digital onboarding based on mobile ID document verification does not enable re-usable or portable credentials, and the need for trust frameworks.

The roles that platform identity, operator networks, self-sovereign identity (SSI) and open APIs will play in Canada’s digital identity ecosystem in five years are explored.

An extensive list of challenges that arise for the DIACC from the different scenarios involving those approaches is provided. The group reports that in terms of its requirements for participation, transparency, accountability, confidentiality, integrity and availability, operator networks and self-sovereign approaches align best with its members’ values. It also has more influence over those ecosystems, compared to none over platforms.

The key will be creating market conditions with the right standards and regulations, and promoting market growth with sustainability and inclusion in mind, according to the DIACC.

The organization’s goals for meeting its five-year challenges include obtaining recognition of its role from different levels of government, growing its reach, and developing and delivering its PCTF Trustmark Program.

Bluink digital ID app launches in Saskatchewan, U.S. passport support added

The eID-Me digital identity app from Bluink has launched in Saskatchewan to provide a digital backup of the province’s driver’s license or photo ID card, according to a company blog post. Support for U.S. passports has also been added to the app.

The app is also expected to be used for information-sharing as it is adopted by organizations, but it does not function as legal ID at this time.

eID-Me has already been launched in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.

“Bluink’s mission is to empower people and businesses by making secure access simple using strong identities,” says Steve Borza, CEO of Bluink. “To prove our commitment, our current vision is focused on enabling a self-sovereign digital identity for every Canadian. That’s how eID-Me came to life. As we are continuously developing partnerships on different levels for integration and adoption, we are also working hard to enable citizens to verify their ID and register for their eID-Me digital identity on their smartphones, all from the comfort of their own home, anywhere in Canada.”

Registration to eID-Me requires both a passport (Canada or U.S.) and a secondary ID such as a driver’s license.

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