The Unfolding Digital Identity Trend

TECHDIGEST – Digital identity is a way to identify someone electronically and confirm they are who they say they are. Digital Identity is well and truly established as one of the most significant technology trends on the planet.

Indeed, for a growing number of public stakeholders and citizens, it is already a day-to-day reality.

As the world now tends increasingly towards digitalization, it then becomes far more understandable why digital identity would emerge as a growing trend and a valid concern.

Therefore, it is trite to restate the utmost importance of satisfactorily ascertaining the identities of all the parties to a social or commercial transaction or interaction online, just as it is offline.

Digital identity is information on an entity used by computer systems, centered around verifying a claim that a person is one person and not any other. It also works well when referring to the recording of certain attributes — biodata and biometrics claims — in a formal record or a “credential,” that grants specific rights or permissions to the individual.

Identification is a concept we care about because it is that process that grants access and rights; it is the representation of the individual within/to an administrative system.

Digital identification or digital ID can be authenticated unambiguously through a digital channel, unlocking access to banking, government benefits, education, and many other critical services.

But the risks and potential for misuse of digital ID are real and deserve careful attention.

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When well-designed, digital ID not only enables civic and social empowerment but also makes possible real and inclusive economic gains—a less well-understood aspect.

Though most people often raise concerns about privacy, when digital identity is implemented correctly, it can enhance privacy.

As the ability to evidence and validate digital identity is being demanded and is necessary. It is rightly being recognised by governments and regulatory bodies, alongside commercial businesses, as a major and key focus area.

Obviously, information security plays a key foundational role that can neither be understated nor compromised. As such identity solutions must also fully comply with current, new regulatory and compliance obligations for implementing robust encryption, storage, and retention policies.

These are challenges that will increasingly adapt and grow in sophistication over time and present issues that often transcend geo-political boundaries and regulatory demarcations. They must be fully overcome and resolved for any fully digital society to flourish.

Digital identity is a dynamically changing space with much current ongoing activity and rapid technological change in a complex area that presents challenges to all citizens and businesses.

Progress in this area is still evolving and there is a shortage of common standards and no single definitive solution to meet all needs. So, each party involved in the value chain, their specific needs, and the challenges faced for each user journey must be clearly understood.

What is clear is that digital identity has come to the forefront of almost every government and private organisation’s digital agenda. And this is an area they must have a clear strategy for if they are to communicate with their citizens, customers, and suppliers in the way they demand.

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