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Striving for a fairer, more inclusive world – Turing Institute digital identity conference

Striving for a fairer, more inclusive world – Turing Institute digital identity conference

Do countries need entirely new, purpose-built systems for digital ID rather than expanding existing systems? How reliable are algorithms? What happens when an identity issuer has lost the trust of the population but keeps trying to push its system?

The Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence, has a division devoted to exploring digital identity. Specifically, what it calls trustworthy digital identity, as opposed to trusted. ‘Trustworthy’ being systems that are designed to be inherently worthy of being trusted rather than simply having to be trusted because they are issued by a government or authority.

The institute announced a call for papers and held its inaugural digital identity conference in September 2021. Held online and limited to 100 participants from academia, industry, government and the third sector, Biometric Update reported on the initial outcomes.

The institute has now published its full report to review each session: ‘Architecting our Future: Insights from the Inaugural Trustworthy Digital Identity Conference.’ The conference presentations and discussions have also been collated and made available on YouTube.

The conference attempted to gather an understanding of the current lived experience of digital identity “and showcased examples of the global effort to architect a future that can be informed by their impact on lives, communities and the relationships people develop with the organisations that they interact with every day.”

Highlights include the trust crisis in Nigeria’s national identity project, how the UK is using a Trust Framework to introduce a digital identity sector and the distracting influence digital identity can have on governance, as observed in Uganda.

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