May 15, 2019 in Letters from the President, News by DIACC

Letters from the President: A Collaborative Road less Travelled – Delivering a PCTF that Works for Canada and Around the World

DIACC’s approach

In Canada, DIACC is the singular organization focused on accelerating the establishment of a Canadian Identity Ecosystem – the singular organization where Canada’s identity experts and practitioners connect to share the deep knowledge needed to deliver a framework that will support our vision of an identity ecosystem where every Canadian has access to the societal and economic opportunities that digital identity can enable.

DIACC is unique among its global peers because our focus is on:

  1. enabling identity that works for both the public and private sectors;
  2. prioritizing privacy, security, and user-centred design;
  3. and enabling economic growth.

Meeting the needs and priorities of members across Canada and around the world is not a simple task. And, while our technology and virtual tools help us to connect Pan-Canadian interests, in-person meeting opportunities always help us to move our shared vision forward. In this context, the DIACC Board of Directors (comprised of public and private sector leaders) and the Trust Framework Expert Committee (TFEC) recently held a co-located in-person meeting in Ottawa.

At this meeting, the primary focus of the Board of Directors was a strong reaffirmation that every Director is committed to one approach for interoperability of identity across Canada. That one approach will provide and prioritize security, privacy and convenience of use. That one approach will prioritize privacy, security, and user-centred design to ensure that Canadians have choice, control, and consent by design, in terms of which systems they participate in, and in terms of how they participate.  That one approach will also recognize that various sources of data verification will be interoperable and available for Canadians to use to perform transactions. In that one approach, service providers will determine their verification needs and Canadians will choose which sources they wish to leverage to provide verification of only the minimized information needed to perform a specific transaction.

Pan-Canadian Trust Framework (PCTF) Development and Operationalization Principles

Through DIACC, Canada’s public and private sectors work as one team, with one vision to define the strategic and the operational way forward including – the industry standards, best practices, and tools needed to ensure systems and solutions align with Canadian principles and with international standards. Our diverse stakeholder collaborative approach ensures that PCTF development considers broad Canadian and international feedback and recognizes areas that may require contextual specialization.  Ultimately, one true test of the value of the PCTF will be its broad adoption.

To support the development of the PCTF in alignment with this vision, the Board of Directors developed and affirmed PCTF Development and Operationalization principles including:

  1. PCTF must provide value to the public and private sectors by defining a minimum set of requirements which encompasses standards and practices. The PCTF will promote interoperability that unlocks public and private sector identity capabilities and supports Canada’s economic growth.
  2. PCTF will define the baseline set of requirements for public and private sector, and there may be requirements that are defined as optional.
  3. The PCTF represents a willing community coalition, and is authoritative to those who adopt it.
  4. PCTF may be profiled by communities of interest to tighten the PCTF baseline for a specified use case.
  5. PCTF is developed, maintained and published by DIACC, based on the broad input of public and private sectors, international experts, liaisons and the general public.

These principles are designed to help us to move forward as a diverse community and to continue to evolve the PCTF to ensure that it meets broad stakeholder needs across Canada and around the world. These principles draw our focus to our PCTF approach while encouraging communities to develop profiles as a mechanism to inform and evolve the PCTF baseline of public and private sector criteria. And while these principles are intended to be more inward facing for our collaboration needs, they further support our foundational DIACC Principles for an Identity Ecosystem. Finally, we recognize that, although Canada is taking a road that is informed by the experiences of others around the world, ours is the public and private sector collaborative road that is less travelled.  Our priority is to meet the needs of Canadians and our hope is to inform the roads that others will take around the world.