The Digital ID & Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) is laying the groundwork for digital IDs. To that end, the organization has formally introduced a Pan-Canadian Trust Framework (PCTF) that establishes a set of industry standards for digital ID programs in Canada.
The PCTF standards will serve as guidelines for private and public organizations that are looking to develop digital ID programs, and allow them to move on to the alpha testing phase. The results of those tests will be factored into the DIACC’s Voila Verified Trustmark Assurance Program, which will offer a degree of quality control once digital IDs reach the general public.
Alpha testing is set to take place over the course of the next two quarters, and will be performed by more than 20 DIACC member organizations that are hoping to be at the forefront of the digital identity movement in Canada. The broader goal is to scale Canada’s digital infrastructure as quickly as possible to keep pace with the rest of the world and to meet the growing demand for digital services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has pushed digital adoption five years into the future,” said TELUS EVP Eros Spodotto. “Without the proper infrastructure for digital ID and authentication, we’ve seen firsthand how Canadians have been left vulnerable and with limited access to essential services.”
The Trustmark is set to debut in 2021, and will only be given to solutions that meet the necessary requirements. The DIACC will solicit the expertise of partners like eIDAS and the Kantara Initiative IAF to ensure the international interoperability of Canadian IDs, which are expected to have applications in multiple different sectors, including healthcare and finance.
“The PCTF launch marks an important milestone in Canada’s digital transformation initiatives,” said DIACC Board Chair Dave Nikolejsin. “Canadians have had to deal with identity theft and fraud while facing social distancing measures. Digital ID minimizes those pain points, and elevates the livelihoods of Canadians everywhere.”
According to the DIACC, the majority (over 70 percent) of Canadians want the public and private sector to collaborate on digital IDs. The country’s telecommunications providers have spent 2020 working to expand the country’s 5G infrastructure, while the identity start-up Bluink has already released its eID-Me app in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.
September 18, 2020 – by Eric Weiss