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Switzerland unveils new digital ID credential to expedite service delivery

Canadian province’s privacy authority calls for local launch
Switzerland unveils new digital ID credential to expedite service delivery

Switzerland’s Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter has presented fresh plans by the country to introduce a new digital ID credential as an alternative for physical identity cards, writes Swiss Info.

Speaking in a recent press conference, the Minister said the main objective of the plan is to enable users go through administrative processes much quickly, and in an easier and more convenient manner. The new ID could come to fruition by 2025, officials hope.

The new digital ID, which will be delivered by the state, will be free and not compulsory to own, Keller-Sutter says, adding that the system will be designed to address all data privacy-related questions. It will be possible to download to an app or digital wallet for use through a mobile phone.

Consultations on the draft digital ID regulation by political parties and other relevant organizations and institutions will soon begin after which it will be submitted to parliament for vetting scrutiny and possible approval, Swiss Info narrates.

The proposed regulation for a trusted ID ecosystem for the country was agreed upon by the Swiss Federal Council in late-2021.

Although the ID will be important for day-to-day administrative transactions with government as well as businesses, there are no plans as yet to link the digital ID with other systems such as digital voting, or the collection of digital signatures for other purposes.

Importance of digital ID highlighted for Canada’s Saskatchewan Province

The Canadian Province of Saskatchewan should carry on with plans of introducing a digital ID system, like other Provinces of the country are doing, to facilitate ID verification for online transactions and access to a wide range of services.

The Province’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Ron Kruzeniski made the suggestion recently while speaking at the annual report launch of his office, saying the provincial government should consult, educate and explain to citizens the benefits of a digital ID, reports CBC.

The Province halted moves to develop a digital ID in March.

“The time has come where we need a credential that can be used online to prove one’s identity. Digital ID would be a convenient and easy identification solution that’s made with the security and encryption we need to securely perform transactions and access services online,” said Kruzeniski, adding that the digital ID would not replace other ID credentials such as the physical driver’s license, health card or passport.

According to the Commissioner, the digital ID once available, will be useful for making age-sensitive purchases, collecting a package at the post office, applying for government assistance or for a hunting and fishing license, booking a campsite in a provincial park, making an insurance claim and signing up for an account with, or receiving services, from a Crown Corporation.

Kruzeniski also gave guidelines on how the digital ID system can be developed.

This call from the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner comes not long after results of a survey conducted by the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) showed a majority of Canadians would go for a digital ID in an atmosphere of strict data privacy control.

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