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Canada engages business group to establish digital identity standards

Aim to foster public and private sector interoperability
Canada engages business group to establish digital identity standards

Canada’s CIO Strategy Council has been engaged by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) to develop a technical specification to support the widespread adoption of digital identity and credentials as the economy moves online.

The specifications are intended to provide a way for third parties in Canada to trust that digital credentials and digital trust services meet emerging digital identity standards requirements, such as for interoperability, privacy and security. This will provide assurance that credentials shared from a user’s digital wallet are verified or certified, whether opening a bank account, providing professional qualifications to a potential employer, or proving health status.

The new technical specification will set minimum standards for interoperability between businesses and governments, and create seamless user experiences, according to the announcement. Once established, they will be used as the basis for conformity assessment solutions for consumers.

The standards-setting process is intended to be open and encourage participation from digital identity thought leaders, policy makers, commercial interests, academia and civil society.

“Working virtually during the pandemic has underlined the importance of authentic, secure products and services in an increasingly digital world,” says Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Philippe Champagne. “In collaboration with the CIO Strategy Council, we are supporting the development and uptake of secure and reliable digital credentials by Canadians.”

ISED is working with Canadian provinces to design a National Digital Trust Service to enable Canadians and businesses to issue, use and verify digital credentials during transactions.

The country’s efforts to develop national infrastructure for digital ID include the recent announcement of funding for its Digital Identity Laboratory.

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