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Ukrainian digital ID app enables citizens to report Russian troops

Ukrainian digital ID app enables citizens to report Russian troops
 

The Ukrainian mobile app Diia has emerged as a vital tool for citizens amidst the ongoing conflict with Russia.

The app was launched in 2019 with the goal of digitalizing various aspects of public administration of services. Within eight hours of launching, Diia reportedly had 2 million users.

In 2020, the Ukrainian government announced Diia started supporting digital IDs, enabling citizens to upload a digital version of their biometric passport in it.

Now, according to a recent Guardian investigation, Diia is being increasingly used by citizens not only for access to public services but also for wartime efforts.

For instance, victims of Russian bombings have used the app to apply for funds to repair damaged buildings and to access a digital “evacuation document” for faster identification at checkpoints.

Since the beginning of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, the app also supported small businesses, offered state-backed mortgages for military and key workers and introduced a chatbot to report Russian troop locations.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov gave a presentation about the app at Washington’s Warner Theater last week.

As reported by Axios, the politician said Diia’s success had inspired other countries to adopt similar initiatives. With support from USAID, Colombia, Kosovo, and Zambia are developing their own versions of the app. Estonia, known for its digital governance advancements, has already integrated aspects of Diia.

During his presentation, Fedorov also tried to alleviate privacy concerns, saying Diia stores data in separate registries and is working on a feature to notify users about data access requests.

The event occurred several months after the UK and Ukraine forged a digital trade deal with the intention of supporting the Ukrainian economy and fostering its future recovery by prioritizing the countries’ digital output.

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