Verified digital identity provides a method to effectively and securely identify people and enable them to perform both offline and online tasks in a safe and secure manner. The following definition is the one I use for verified digital identity, and adopted most recently in our white paper “Verified Digital Identity – Key Applications Driving Growth and Adoption”: “A digital identity that is issued by an identity issuer or provider who has a high level of assurance of the authenticity of the individual requesting the identity credential. The issued credential can be used in high-assurance applications/use cases.”
Currently, we have a pretty messy situation with global variations in terms of adoption and a mixture of government and commercially led digital identity schemes that heavily rely on paper (documents) and card-based identity as the anchor point for identity verification.
There is little interoperability between these schemes and many of them have been designed to support a single application; travel, access to bank services or permission to drive a vehicle for instance.
There are signs that improvements are being made with a real willingness for stakeholders, both government and commercial, to fix the digital identity problem.
In a recent Goode Intelligence market analyst report, The Digital Identity Report – The Global Opportunities for Verified Citizen & Consumer Digital ID; Market & Technology Analysis, Adoption Strategies and Forecasts 2020-2025 Identity Verification, a number of key applications that are enabled by verified digital identity were identified including:
- Identity Verification
- Supporting remote customer onboarding
- Access to eGovernment services
- Providing a single digital identity to access cross-department digital government services including eVoting
- Assured Authentication
- When the digital identity is highly assured and issued after strong identity and document verification then it can be used for assured authentication
- Digital Travel
- Mobile driving licences (mDL)
- Kerb-to-Gate airport
- Age Verification
- Offline – used in bars and clubs instead of a paper document
- Online – used to ensure access to adult (age restricted) digital content and services is upheld
- Digital Signature
- Supporting smart contracts
If you are interested in learning more, I’ll be presenting the findings of our latest research into digital identity, including identity and document verification, at Identity Summit London 2020 on 30 January 2020. I hope I will see you there.