Since more and more personal and important business information is available online, stricter rules are needed to make sure that the sensitive information is kept safe. Government agencies are more and more likely to use a digital identity framework that lets people use other forms of security clearance to access important services like banking or medical records.
This means making a process and framework for digital identity that can be used as a supplement to, or sometimes instead of, physical documents like passports or ID cards. This certification process lets businesses and users show that they follow the trust framework’s rules. The benefits of this are clear: it makes life easier for consumers, cuts down on delays in the conveyancing process, and, most importantly, makes fraud and cybercrime less likely.
The government of the UK has started its own research into making a digital identity framework, and the government of France is about to release a mobile app for digital verification. There are a number of things to think about to make sure that these frameworks not only work but also work well.
The structure of a building
The fabric of any given trust framework can be one of two things. Either it is centralized, like a credit card network with a central operator, or it is decentralized, like a high-assurance blockchain-based network. For example, look at verified.me, which is Canada’s digital identity network and which people can use to access government services. Canada was one of the first countries to use blockchain technology to help improve privacy and data controls for its citizens. For example, when someone opens a digital wallet to make a transaction and chooses a bank and different ways to identify themselves, the framework checks to see if all of these meet the requirements to access certain accounts or pieces of information. All of this happens without the user having to do anything, and they can be sure that their data is safe the whole time.
It’s important to look at examples of digital identity frameworks that are already in place to learn what works best. Aside from Canada, there are a number of other countries that are successfully using their own frameworks. These frameworks can serve as examples of best practices and also show how to avoid problems. BankIDs have been used in places like the Nordic countries. This makes it easier for digital businesses to work in Scandinavia.
Even though these cases haven’t fully solved the problems they set out to solve, they are the most developed so far. They also help show how to build a framework step by step.
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The parts that make up the whole
The steps involved in the process of developing a digital identity system or framework are two-fold. The first is the technology, and the second is the people who will make up the framework.
From a technological point of view, the full stack of software, hardware, and connections will need to be in sync. For this to work, it’s important that the device makers, the operating system providers, and the identity solutions providers are all on the same page. All with the goal of openness and interoperability in mind, which means using open standards that make interoperability as easy as possible. One proven way of achieving this is by going with a turnkey solution provider. M2SYS Technology is a company that offers end-to-end turnkey solutions. Their turnkey solutions can be easily changed to fit the needs of government agencies, and they already work with the world’s top identity management hardware and software companies.
Additionally, and perhaps most critically, there is the non-technical alignment, clarifying who runs the systems and who owns what parts. This is especially important when there are problems with the way things work, such as a breach. Even though the technology has been around for a while, governments and other groups have been slow to use it because of things that have nothing to do with technology. This is because the bigger problem is making sure people trust this framework. If they don’t, no one will use it.
Putting trust into a framework
When setting up a digital framework to make sure identities are safe, trust is the most important thing to think about. This means user control is critical when deciding what digital identities, they will want to use in any given transactional process. To make sure that users are in control of their data, the first step is establishing this trusted framework that is backed by policies and by the government.
Before committing to this framework, users must be sure that their data will not be stored by any institution that approves the transaction, like a bank. They can instead use a cryptographic checkmark from the network. This gives users trust in the platforms they are using, while simultaneously improving the overall user journey. The goal here is furthered by reducing friction in the process and enabling the continuation of a successful business.
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However, while it is important that the framework is trusted, it cannot be treated as a flawless system. We should always check it out. When looking at software and hardware, trust can be broken at any time and at any level of the framework. This could be due to a system failure, clerical error, or a cyberattack. Therefore, trust can never be fully assumed.
Furthermore, while these risks are known, the unknown risks pose serious danger. As we continue on into the digital world, it is very likely that new threats will be created that do not exist today. So, it is vital when establishing digital trust, that we pre-determine today’s known risks while anticipating potential threats and strategizing the best way to mitigate them with identity-first security principles.
It is very likely that in the next 10 years, our identities will be increasingly more digital. To prepare for that, governments and businesses alike must recognize the need and benefit of creating a digital identity system or framework. Users must have the option of whether or not they want to use the system, particularly those who would rather have non-digital options. Whether centralized or decentralized, to have a successful framework, all must anticipate different levels of reliability and responsibility.
M2SYS Technology is one of the leading Identity management software and hardware for the government and enterprises at the moment. All you have to do is – choose any biometric hardware or matching engine and we’ll give you the whole “Turnkey” solution for Digital ID. Learn more about their solutions here.