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Progress on international digital ID interoperability: DGX report

Progress on international digital ID interoperability: DGX report

Singapore’s Digital Government Exchange (DGX) Digital Identity Working Group (DIWG) has published a new report highlighting the efforts of eight countries towards the adoption of interoperable digital ID initiatives.

The document lists the accomplishments of an international working group led by Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) and composed of digital ID experts from Australia, Canada, Finland, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, the Netherlands, and the UK.

“The working group aims to develop pathways to enable mutually recognized and/or interoperable digital identities and infrastructure, to enhance trade opportunities in the context of a Free Trade Agreement or similar bi- or multilateral agreement,” the report reads.

Additionally, the 22-page document also recognizes that such solutions may facilitate economic recovery from COVID-19, for instance by supporting the opening of domestic and international borders.

In order to support the development of such initiatives, the countries created the DIWG in 2020. The group’s new report now highlights a set of 11 ‘high-level principles’ aimed at enabling future mutual recognition and interoperability applications of digital identities.

Digital ID interoperability principles

The first of the principles mentioned in this section of the report is ‘Openness,’ according to which: “All data should be freely available for use and reuse by others by default as relevant to trust frameworks and digital identity systems unless restrictions apply such as for the protection of personal data, confidentiality or intellectual property rights.”

The report then mentions transparency across digital identity systems, and reusability, according to which “Public administrations confronted with a specific problem seek to benefit from the work of others by default.”

The fourth principle mentioned in the DIWG report is user-centricity, which includes a multi-channel service delivery approach, the availability of a single point of contact, and the systematic collection of user feedback.

Inclusion and accessibility, multilingualism and security and privacy are also noted as digital ID interoperability principles, together with technology neutrality and data portability, administrative simplification (digital-by-default and digital-first approaches), and preservation of information.

Finally, the DIWG report includes an eleventh principle: “assessment of effectiveness and efficiency.” This includes various ways to take stock of the value of interoperable digital identity services, including considerations such as return on investment, the total cost of ownership, level of flexibility, reduced administrative burden, and efficiency.

DGX working groups

From an organizational standpoint, the DGX comprises not only the DIWG but also a series of three additional working groups.

The first of them is the cloud working group, focusing on the shift in the delivery of private/public information systems via the creation of policy approaches and technology strategies.

The second is the data governance working group, working on “key trends in data governance policies, data governance regulations, and data organizational structures in supporting member countries’ broader big data ambitions.”

The final working group within the DGX is for digital maturity, which recently developed a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) framework for understanding different levels of digital maturity in governments’ digital estates.

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