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Digital ID trust gets new focus in ID4D principles

digital identity biometric registration

World Bank Group officials have sharpened the principles underpinning their ID-for-all program, getting more explicit about the need to engender trust among individuals around the world in digital IDs.

Also refocused were principles addressing data protection, inclusivity and the need for continuous engagement between government and civil society while achieving the program’s goals.

The program, called ID4D (as in development), was launched in 2014 by digital-technology evangelist Mariana Dahan to create identification documents for the globe’s billions that are standardized, easy to administer and use, secure and universally accepted.

Ten principles for the World Bank’s ID4D program were published in 2017, and largely stand as written. Executives said they updated them to reflect the evolving conversation about digital IDs. (A summary of the original 10 is here.)

The revision includes a stronger call for securing digital identity data and designing all related systems with inclusivity as a primary feature.

The World Bank estimates that 1 billion people globally live without officially recognized identification. That status leaves people without government support and protection and, typically, open to victimization by criminals and unscrupulous businesses.

Problems are exaggerated when people without documentation or digital ID become refugees. Finding their place in the world during a crisis and after a resolution has been reached often proves challenging.

Lack of documentation also hinders economic activity and development. Opening a bank account, a fundamental step to building personal wealth and stability, is all but impossible.

ID4D recently released an annual report including reviews of research into the effectiveness of biometrics in programs for social benefits delivery.

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