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Ontario plans SSI-based digital ID by fall, Liquid Avatar lauds use of open standards

Ontario plans SSI-based digital ID by fall, Liquid Avatar lauds use of open standards

The Canadian Province of Ontario has unveiled its digital identity standards and technology plan, ahead of a planned launch of the new digital ID this fall.

Ontario plans to use emerging technical standards, and where possible publicly available open source solutions to stand up its digital ID system. The province also says it is implementing a self-sovereign identity trust model.

The government intends the provincial digital ID to be eventually be used across all industries, as well as for government services.

Key principles for the new digital ID system include adherence to the DIACC’s Pan-Canadian Trust Framework, open standards to encourage innovation by the private sector, and alignment and interoperability with other Canadian jurisdictions. Technology standards currently being considered include the W3C’s Verifiable Credentials, DID key management, and JSON-LD data format and the OpenID Foundation’s OIDC, as well as other standards from W3C, DIF, Hyperledger, and the Trust Over IP Foundation.

“Openly sharing our technology approach to digital identity is an essential step in our plan to provide more convenient, private and secure ways to prove who you are,” said Associate Minister of Digital Government Kaleed Rasheed. “Today’s announcement responds directly to what we continue to hear from sector partners, stakeholders and the public – Ontario’s approach to technology needs to be ambitious, innovative and transparent.”

Liquid Avatar has declared its support for Ontario’s approach to digital ID, which the company says will encourage the adoption of digital wallets and digital identity solutions from companies like it to carry government-issued credentials.

The company has been involved in the ongoing consultations around the digital ID system, and has also recently joined an initiative run by the Toronto Region Board of Trade to support safe reopening of businesses in the region.

“Ontario is one of the first jurisdictions in North America to announce that it will issue and enable digital credentials – and it has been a great experience working with the government on this both directly and through our role in membership organizations like the Trust Over IP Foundation, the DIACC and the Covid Credential Initiative,” comments David Lucatch, CEO and co-founder of Liquid Avatar Technologies. “This is a fast-moving, exciting space to be in, and with the direction the province has set with these guidelines we believe the government, the public, and Ontario’s growing tech sector will all benefit.”

Liquid Avatar interoperability test

The interoperability of the Liquid Avatar Verifiable Credential Ecosystem (LAVCE) was put to the test by the company at a recent hackathon-like event, and demonstrated the ability to share COVID-19 test and vaccination records across multiple systems in a privacy-preserving way.

Liquid Avatar’s interoperability with other digital health credential systems is based on the Linux Foundation Public Health Cardea project.

The event for Cardea community participants featured seamless issuance, exchange and verification of health data with other systems, Liquid Avatar says.

“We are thrilled to see interoperability among companies and solutions at the Cardea Interop-athon event. People will use digital health credentials if they deliver value across every facet of their lives and interoperability is a key driver of use and value,” Lucatch says in a separate announcement. “Successful interoperability means that a blockchain-backed system to manage trusted digital information is a quickly scalable solution. It also means that we don’t end up getting trapped in siloed, proprietary systems that can’t talk to each other. That’s not the way to manage COVID-19 and it’s also not the way to manage the future of digital health information or various other verifiable credentials.”

The LAVCE platform can be integrated by healthcare facilities, testing labs, government agencies, schools, sports arenas, transportation, trade shows, and workplaces, according to the announcement.

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