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Bhutan lawmakers examine final draft of digital ID legislation

Decentralized digital ID coming to Indonesia
Bhutan lawmakers examine final draft of digital ID legislation

This week, discussions are due to continue in Bhutan’s National Assembly on the final draft of a Digital Identity Bill which will set out the regulatory framework for the country’s sovereign digital ID ecosystem.

The draft text was introduced on Friday June 9 and defended by Industry, Commerce and Employment Minister, Karma Dorji, who underlined the usefulness of the bill for Bhutan’s digital ID experience, state-run Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) reports.

Bhutan launched the digital ID system this year with the crown prince being the first person to enroll for it.

According to Dorji, the legislation will be useful in operationalizing the digital ID project which has been designed to facilitate the way Bhutanese have access to services such as the issuance of passports and other documentation.

With the digital ID system, citizens will be able to carry their ID and other credentials via a digital wallet on their smartphones. Their fingerprints and face biometrics will be required for identity authentication, which will greatly reduce chances of identity fraud especially for business transactions, the official said.

Introducing a legal framework for the digital ID system will also go a long way in enhancing citizens’ trust for the system, the Minister told lawmakers.

In the meantime, some lawmakers have raised concerns about the security and privacy of people’s data when the digital ID system goes functional.

An MP quoted by BBS said they feared the digital ID system would “only increase the victims of technology instead of minimising it.”

Partnership brings decentralized digital ID to Indonesia market

To the south, Norwegian digital ID firm Protectoria Venture, together with partner PT Gimle Investment Group, has partnered with Indonesia state-run telecoms services company PT INTI to introduce decentralized digital ID services for citizens, companies and other public entities in the Southeast Asian country.

This comes in response to a growing craving from the public and private sectors for a decentralised digital ID infrastructure which is considered an important building block for a digital economy, notes to a statement announcing the deal.

According to the parties, decentralized ID comes with several benefits for all types of users, be they of private or public sector services, especially for an attractive market like Indonesia which is rated as the biggest economy in the ASEAN region. ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations made up of ten countries.

Per the agreement, Protectoria Venture will provide the decentralized digital identity services based on an architecture using Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) and blockchain technology provided as a cloud-based service (IDaaS), while PT INTI will engage with government entities and act as a Trusted-Service-Provider towards any private and public application service provider and end user under Indonesia’s new Privacy law.

PT INTI CEO Edi Witjara said they are engaging in partnerships like this which are aimed at helping the government of Indonesia “become a competitive and innovative economy acting effectively on the domestic, regional and international markets, while protecting privacy and digital transactions through decentralised technical architecture.”

“We are very satisfied with the partners selected and believe they will assist us in the provisioning of world class identity technology and services, aligned with the requests of the Indonesian government and people, and aligned with international institutions’ visions of ideal digital identity infrastructure.”

Protectoria Venture CEO Trond Lemberg commented that their partnership is testimony of the right positioning of their business proposal, “combining experience from the Scandinavian digitized societies, the vision of leading international institutions and our decentralized identity services.”

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