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Universal global digital identity still 7 years away, OIX presenter says

Conference explores EUDI progress
Universal global digital identity still 7 years away, OIX presenter says

Europe is currently rushing to launch its digital ID project, the European Digital Identity Wallet (EUDI) governed by the eIDAS regulation. Around 18 to 24 months after the regulation comes into force, all 27 EU member states will make a digital identity available to every citizen who wants one. But the timeline for actual adoption may be years away, according to experts.

Meanwhile, new products such as Earth ID are trying to make digital identity available to everyone, including those who do not have access to high-end phones.

Open Identity Exchange conference highlights EUDI’s slow progress

This week, non-profit trade organization the Open Identity Exchange (OIX) held a conference discussing these developments and demonstrating digital ID wallets. The event titled OIX Identity Trust Update was held at RISE London, Barclays’ global FinTech platform.

The EU hopes that 80 percent of EU citizens will have adopted a digital identity wallet by 2030, David Goodman, director at Identitas Consulting, said during the event.

“The idea that we’re still seven years away from the dream of universal global identity for everyone is sobering,” he notes.

Goodman presented the current state of eIDAS, the regulation governing EU’s digital identity, which is still in process.

Four large scale pilots have just started, including the EU Digital Identity Wallet Consortium (EWC), Digital Credentials 4 Europe (DC4E), the Nordic-Baltic eID (NOBID), and Pilots for Digital Identities Wallet (POTENTIAL) with hundreds of participants. In addition, inter-institutional discussions, known as trialogues, are taking place right now with hopes that the regulation will come into force in the fourth quarter, says Goodman.

The EWC pilot, for instance, covers all member states, and has 41 beneficiaries and 35 associated partners. It is led by the Bolagsverket, the Swedish registry office.

“It kicked off first of April, the first face to face meeting is going to be next week,” says Goodman.

One of the companies involved in EWC is data exchange platform iGrant, looking primarily into travel use cases, payments and the organizational digital identity (ODI), a wallet for legal entities. Lal Chandran, co-founder and CTO of iGrant.io presented a typical wallet ecosystem.

Typically, a system consists of the individual and the data source, also known as the data issuer, or the data producer, as well as a data using service or a data consumer.  The data source is issuing any information that can be held by the individual or the data wallet holder. That information could be shared with any third party provider.

As a company that provides data intermediation services, iGrant provides the pipeline between endpoints via the wallet technologies.

“The entire work that we do as a company is supporting organizations to adopt these wallet technologies and associated technologies that make the data exchange happen in a way that is fully auditable,” says Chandran.

iGrant, which is owned by Swedish company LCubed, is also taking part in creating the NOBID pilot.

EarthID wins UK Smart Grant

Decentralized identity platform Earth ID which is working in partnership with City University of London (CUL) was awarded with the Innovate UK Smart Grant funding.

The funding will be used to develop a “user-centric, device agnostic self-sovereign identity wallet for fraud prevention” called the Space-Wallet, the company said in a statement.

“Our partnership with City, University of London will enable us to develop a cutting-edge solution that will prevent fraud and provide a seamless user experience,” says Priya Guliani, CEO of EarthID. “We are excited about the potential of self-sovereign identity to transform the financial industry, and we are grateful for the support of Innovate UK in helping us make this vision a reality.”

Space-Wallet was created to help organizations to manage digital ID credentials and provide users with control over personal information. Earth ID claims that organizations can save up to 80 percent in expenses and 90 percent of their time with their product.

It is also different from existing solutions that rely on high-end smartphones, creating accessibility barriers for people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, according to the company.

“As we move from the physical to the metaverse it will become increasingly more important to manage our identity credentials, payments, and digital assets,” says Muttukrishnan Rajarajan, director of CUL’s Institute for Cyber Security. “Hence the necessity to own a digital wallet that is secure, preserves privacy and is interoperable.”

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