Canada is moving faster on digital ID than most think, says ATB Ventures

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The Alberta government’s Innovation Lab says Canadian businesses should be working on digital ID solutions in anticipation of the release of federal and provincial initiatives.

“There is a huge appetite in the private sector to take advantage of the government [digital] ID, and as it is fully adopted across Canada, we are going to see a huge jump in private adoption,” said Azim Esmail, head of development and partnerships at Calgary-based ATB Ventures.

In support of this, the company released an infographic Tuesday’s showing shows that not only the federal government, but four of the country’s five most populous provinces have either issued or are working on issuing digital IDs to their citizens.

“A significant digital identity ecosystem is emerging in Canada, supported by federal initiatives,” the infographic says in part. Citing a 44 percent increase in fraud in 2022 compared to 2021, “the need for all provinces to adopt digital identity is more urgent than ever.”

The infographic also says, “Digital identity is the key to unlocking a secure, trusted and convenient digital world.” And, it adds, it has the potential to generate $15 billion in economic growth and innovation in Canada.

However, that map also shows five provinces — Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI — and territories either haven’t started or are in the very early stages of digital ID.

The goal of releasing the graphic, Esmail said in an interview, is to show Canada is “much further along in the digital ID transformation than some thought” … “Things are progressing well.”

ATB Ventures, an arm of the Government of Alberta-owned ATB Financial Bank, has a stake in Digital ID: one of its projects, olyu, sells a cloud-based suite of digital identity products that organizations can use to issue and verify digital credentials. another project, ProofThere is a digital wallet to keep the digital ID on the smartphone.

Digital IDs are ways that governments and businesses can verify a person’s identity online in order to access services. They can be in the form of a digital number, biometric or universal card to access a range of provincial and federal services. Ideally, an ID card or digital ID could be used to go to the doctor’s office, renew a driver’s license, and access federal income tax accounts.

simultaneously for a federal initiativeThe country’s most populous provinces — British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec — as well as Newfoundland and Labrador are working on digital ID plans.

BCs with their 21 year old BCEID cards are considered to be in the forefront. alberta issued it MyAlberta Digital ID In 2015. newfoundland It is expected to launch a pilot project this year. Ontario’s project has been delayed by COVID-19 and It won’t say when it will start.

So far all the provincial services have not been connected to their digital IDs.

While the graphic aims to show progress, Esmail could not say when the majority of the country will be able to enroll for a digital ID. Quebec’s effort is scheduled to begin in 2025.

It’s “still unknown when this change is going to happen,” Esmail acknowledged. This could be “a few years, or a multi-year journey”.

ATB Venture’s Oliyu was launched last September. When asked what has happened since then, Ismail said, “We don’t have any publicly launched partnerships that we’re able to talk about right now, but we’re seeing a number of organizations that are experimenting.” are prototyping and working on solutions that can be integrated with them.” Product stack in the future. As they are talking to the market, the question that comes up regularly is where are the governments with their efforts? Due to which the infographic was released.

The infographic says that three-quarters of Canadians surveyed agreed that it is important for the government to move quickly to enable a reliable and secure digital ID. However, this leaves a lot of residents still in doubt. In fact, Last year, former Alberta premier Jason Kenney said that Alberta’s plan to implement a digital ID is an “Internet, urban legend”.

Opponents are “a small contingent that speaks louder,” Esmail said, noting that their fears are understandable in light of news reports of data breaches in both the public and private sectors.

Part of combating that fear is through education, such as the infographic, he said. “The reality is, it’s all about how things are implemented.” The Pan Canadian Trust FrameworkAn effort by Canadian governments and businesses to create a secure digital identity ecosystem should be reassuring to Canadians because it is built on the idea of ​​a decentralized system that puts control of personal information in the hands of users.

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