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Integrate mobile telco data to broaden digital ID inclusion, OIX urges

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Integrate mobile telco data to broaden digital ID inclusion, OIX urges

The Open Identity Exchange wants digital ID service providers to integrate mobile telecommunications data into their ID proofing processes.

The benefits of doing so are explained in OIX’ latest analysis paper. Mobile telco data can bridge the gap left by digital ID processes that rely on traditional ID documents that not everyone possesses, OIX says.

Using Telco Data for ID Proofing” version 0.2 explains how the ID proofing process can be improved with data provided by mobile network operators. In particular, the paper focusses on how that data can be used to fulfill requirements under the GPG45 Identity Proofing and Validation standard with the UK’s DIATF and the AML ID proofing guidelines of the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG).

Telcos are able to validate important biometric information about subscribers, as well as send SMS one-time codes for dynamic knowledge-based verification.

“Mobile telco data on its own has limited value and doesn’t as high in the GPG45 model, compared to data from banks, credit reference agencies or government,” says Nick Mothershaw, OIX chief identity strategist. “That’s why it isn’t currently used in the ID proofing process and has become a forgotten data source. However, when combined with these and other datasets, it becomes extremely valuable and has the ability to move people up to ‘medium’ or ‘high’ in terms of GPG45 scoring. This will enable greater levels of inclusion for parts of the UK population who currently struggle.”

Mothershaw also points out that millions in the UK remain “ID challenged,” posing a barrier to inclusive digital ID. OIX’ own data shows that roughly 6 million people in the UK are “ID challenged.”

“There are a number of things that need to happen, but a good starting point is to introduce more datasets into the ecosystem and mobile telco data is a quick win,” he says. “This data is readily available, and its combination with other data sources gives it the ability to instantly improve circumstances for those who cannot verify their identity through traditional means.”

OIX is hosting the Identity Trust 2023 conference on September 28 in London, where the use of mobile telco data will be among the digital ID issues on the agenda.

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