Monthly Archives: April 2020

Yoti’s Commitment to Doing Good During the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Leigh Day, Business Development Manager, Canada, Yoti

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at Yoti made a pledge. We are offering free, contactless identity verification for health organizations and volunteer initiatives working on the front lines. Using our existing technologies, we have been able to achieve positive change, in light of this crisis, reaching a wider audience and assisting those in need. 

Remotely and safely onboarding workers at scale

Yoti’s pledge revolves around several use cases, one being healthcare workers coming out of retirement on a volunteer basis, to aid in the COVID-19 efforts. After taking just a few minutes to download the free Yoti app and create their account, the worker can then scan a QR code on their employer’s website to remotely and securely verify their identity and be onboarded. A revocable Staff Digital ID card is then issued into their Yoti app, which they can present when reporting to a hospital to prove their identity and employment. Recruitment can be done remotely, without the need for face-to-face contact. 

This solution has been deployed by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) in April, 2020. Putting employees’ NHS ID cards directly onto their phones will help improve the onboarding of new NHS staff, as identity can be proved online and in-person within seconds, allowing these front line workers to provide the immediate medical assistance needed.

Lessening regulatory headwinds and rapid regulatory advancement 

The pandemic and associated lockdowns are forcing many organizations to confront the challenge of remote identity verification in order to adapt and ensure they can provide their services effectively. We are seeing certain regulators embracing digital identity solutions, paving the way for rapid technical innovation. Businesses and regulators are realizing that digital identity solutions enable safe business continuity during this unprecedented time. This, we believe, is a step in the right direction. 

For instance, the Canadian real estate industry has been largely disrupted, as real estate agents cannot hold open houses, and land title laws still require in-person identity verification plus wet ink signatures on contracts. Digital identity verification and e-signatures could be allowed, removing the requirement for notaries and clients to meet in person.The time to innovate is now, in real estate and beyond, and businesses that do not adapt quickly enough risk losing their position to those that do, and to new businesses entering the market. 

Emphasizing the need for true innovation, rather than manual workarounds

In response to this crisis, we are also seeing relaxation of identity verification requirements to enable business continuity.  In B.C. for instance, car insurance is provided by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). Insurance regulations are decades old and don’t currently contemplate digital identity solutions. To maintain social distancing, ICBC is applying temporary variance from normal in person identity verification in allowing certain transactions to be completed remotely, rather than in person, by phone or email. Instead of innovating and permanently adopting a digital ID solution for verification, this body is creating a temporary and risky work-around. A step away from innovation, this is where fraudsters can thrive. 

Where solutions exist, they should be integrated, and digital ID solutions do exist. Yoti already has a diverse set of products, ranging from an electronic signing solution to enable the remote signing of documents, as well as ID verification solutions. Other technology providers offer their own innovative solutions as well, many of who are members of the DIACC.

Many of these products are already built, they just need to be adapted to the situation at hand. For digital identity adoption globally, this is a massive opportunity. 

Learn More about DIACC member initiatives and identity solutions including Yoti’s within the COVID-19 Actions Directory, where we are pleased to share the actions taken to address the demands of these extraordinary circumstances.

About the Author: Leigh Day

A veteran Cyber Security Executive turned Digital ID evangelist, Leigh is helping expand Yoti’s global presence by driving new business and growth across Canada and the US, and representing Yoti within the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada, sitting on expert committees and contributing to the development of the Pan Canadian Trust Framework.

COVID-19 Actions Directory

The social distancing measures that are required to manage the COVID-19 pandemic only serve to further illustrate the urgent need for an ecosystem of identity solutions and services that are secure, privacy-respecting, and convenient to use.

DIACC calls on all of our members to share the actions that they are taking to address the demands of these extraordinary circumstances.

DIACC members who wish to add their COVID-19 related actions to this directory should contact the DIACC team via email or use our contact us form. 

Desjardins encourages members to use Desjardins ATMs or AccèsD (internet, mobile and phone services). Desjardins is asking those who haven’t signed up for government direct deposit services yet to register so they can avoid having to deposit cheques. Learn More

iComply has announced a $2M services grant for government and community organizations in need of online identity verification to support COVID-19 response efforts. Learn More

Jumio Go for Good. Now more than ever, it is important to establish trust remotely. To help in this time of crisis, we’re offering our fully automated, AI-powered identity verification solution FREE of charge to qualifying COVID-19 relief organizations including: Telehealth, Online Education & Testing Services and Other Essential Services. Learn More

OARO has expanded its physical access control system, OARO ACCESS®, to include body temperature screening to help fight COVID-19. The new optional feature can detect individuals exhibiting a fever, the primary symptom of viral infections such as the novel coronavirus. Unlike many other temperature screening systems currently on the market, the new OARO ACCESS® module will be able to analyze trends over time, enabling predictive analytics and improved workplace health and safety measures. The system uses advanced encryption to comply with global data privacy laws. OARO is currently working with existing and new clients to install temperature screening modules on OARO ACCESS® systems. Learn More

The Ontario government put out a call for support from the private sector to fight the spread of COVID-19 using the Ontario Together banner. Included in that call out is a request for supplies, innovation, and ideas. Learn More

TELUS is providing numerous ways to help their customers stay connected and protected. As an essential service, we are ramping up our efforts to keep Canadians connected during this crisis. We are also dedicating $20 million to help COVID-19 relief efforts in support of our frontline healthcare workers, seniors, hospitalized patients, vulnerable Canadians, and families in need. Learn More

Yoti has spent six years building a secure identity platform that makes it simpler and safer to prove who we are in our modern, digital world. We have always offered our digital identity app free to eligible charities and non-profits, and for the next three months, we will be extending this commitment to any public health organization, emergency service and community initiative tackling the COVID-19 crisis. Read more on our COVID-19 crisis pledge. Learn More

Through this challenging time, our top priority remains the health and safety of our employees, customers and partners. We express our deepest sympathies to those who have been affected. We’re also helping the communities in which we operate, and we’ve made donations of supplies and resources in some of the hardest hit areas. Manulife is well-positioned to navigate this evolving situation. We have robust and tested business continuity plans that help ensure we are proactive and prepared, and employees in critical functions can work remotely if required. Manulife will continue to take necessary actions to ensure the health and safety of our teams, and service to our customers, is our top priority. We are committed to helping make decisions easier and lives better. Learn More

OneSpan has rerouted its charitable giving program, OneSpan ACTS, to provide financial contributions toward non-profit organizations or charities working to support those fighting COVID-19 or those impacted by the virus. Through the program, OneSpan employees can submit their association and charity of choice to donate funds to on OneSpan’s behalf.

iProov is providing biometric authentication services free of charge to start-ups that are working on solutions to assist the COVID-19 crisis. A number of projects are already underway, using our Genuine Presence Assurance technology to great effect. One area where we’re seeing a lot of focus is safeguarding. Safeguarding allows genuine offers of help to be encouraged and utilized, by putting processes and systems in place to protect the vulnerable.

Folio has extended the fundamental building blocks of its mobile-based identity platform to support the secure issuance and management of health credentials. The Folio Digital Wallet is highly secure and biometrically bound to the citizen, enabling them to carry their health status, test results and perhaps eventually a vaccination certificate with them conveniently and consent to share attributes to trusted relying parties.

For organizations and governments, Folio allows for the scalability of credential issuance, with certificates that are dynamic and can be time-bound, updated or revoked instantly. Learn more.

To help accelerate this shift to virtual care, Canada Health Infoway reallocated existing funds to create a Rapid Adoption of Virtual Care Fund. In consultation with Health Canada and the jurisdictions, Infoway identified three priority areas for investment that would have the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time: accelerating the implementation of virtual care solutions (including e-visits and home monitoring), offering online mental health services and increasing capacity of 811/ tele-triaging services. As the next stage, mid- to long-term responses are being evaluated.

Understanding Face Biometrics for Identity Verification and Authentication

Applied Recognition and the Digital ID & Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) developed this report to highlight the opportunities for businesses in adopting biometrics to verify and authenticate identity, with the next generation of technology available to bring instant, secure access to personal data. The report covers areas such as how face biometrics work, the privacy advantages they present, and current market uses of the technology.

Read the full report: Understanding Face Biometrics for Identity Verification and Authentication.

Why Canada Needs a Digital ID Framework

Canada must become a nation of digital identity. 

What does this mean, exactly?

I believe that Canadians should be in control of their personal data. I also think that there should be standards and practices that help guide the way that citizens can safeguard their digital identity. In a world where entire economies are struggling thanks to the COVID-pandemic, the value of digital ID couldn’t be more relevant.

We are all collectively trying to adapt to the “new normal,” as many of us crave more social interaction and worry about financial stability. There’s never been a better time to invest in our national security and digital economy.

Canada has to become a nation of digital identity, and it should do so as soon as possible.

Digital ID is critical to the economy

Today, shortcomings in digital identity (such as data breaches and potential fraud) result in risks to individuals and businesses and hinder the growth of the digital economy. The entire economy is impacted.

The Digital ID & Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) estimates that the potential value that trusted digital identity could bring to the Canadian economy is at least 1 percent of Canada’s GDP, or CAD 15 billion.  

This is a significant amount of money, especially when you consider that the Canadian government plans to spend $10 billion to bail out its oil industry. Why can’t we invest in an infrastructure that prevents billions from being lost in the future?

There are also other economic benefits to be realized. In Canada, for instance, the DIACC and participating banks have determined potential net savings per institution at or above CAD 100 million per year, through operational efficiencies created by reducing manual processing costs, as well as reducing fraud.

A Remote Working Solution

More employees are being asked, or even required, to work remotely. This gives rise to new obstacles in terms of establishing secure connections, and maintaining data privacy poses a challenge. For example, each time an employee connects to their corporate network from their home; they create access points that hackers may exploit. 

There are already reports that hackers have sent phishing emails, claiming to be related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Google has stated that they have already blocked an average of 18 million emails per day this past week, as hackers try to capitalize on fears about public health. While public safety requires a rapid shift to remote working, this shift creates a greater strain on IT departments and existing infrastructure. 

Canada needs to establish a secure digital identity to enable organizations to streamline and secure their operations. This benefits so many aspects of a company, whether we are speaking to customer registration or credit risk assessment. The volume of online transactions is increasing in the shift towards a decentralized work environment. 

Canadians are shifting online to conduct important transactions and access services such as banking, education and e-commerce purchases. Canadians need a secure and safe environment to transact, both for business and personal needs. 

Data breaches continue to increase, as do concerns surrounding them. A recent survey from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada found that 92 percent of Canadians expressed concern about the protection of their privacy. 

Just two months ago, the personal information of over 140,000 Canadians was compromised. In fact, the information here was actually mishandled by Canadian departments and agencies, rather than a data breach or hack by a foreign government.

More Trust, Less Fear

Digital identity boils down to trust: trusting who is on the other end of a transaction and having confidence that one’s data is protected. Digital identity will enable that trust, and provide that secure digital social safety net that Canada urgently needs. 

At a time when Canadians are experiencing fear and anxiety, not knowing what lies in the weeks and months ahead, they deserve to have greater control over and protection of their data. Technology companies have the opportunity to step up and make this happen. 

As the global business landscape shifts along with the changing times, a secure digital identity becomes critical, as businesses will have to adjust their operating procedures. With a secure digital identity, employers will be able to keep more Canadians at work during a time of crisis. 

Collaboration Is Essential

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of community  – and banding together to share experiences and much-needed information, both on a local and global scale. 

A community of leaders from the public and private sectors have joined together in the DIACC to connect their in-depth knowledge and expertise to unlock digital identity capabilities of all sectors, to secure Canada’s full participation in the digital economy. 

Together, DIACC members and partners are delivering a Pan-Canadian Trust Framework to provide rules and tools to accelerate digital identity solutions and services that are designed with privacy and security as core principles. 

Furthermore, DIACC is working with members and partners to support near term identity-related projects to help Canadians in this urgent time of need. With the sole focus on making digital identity a reality for Canadians, DIACC takes a uniquely collaborative approach. The urgent need for digital identity is something that impacts us all, and we welcome all voices to the table. 

As we manage life and death immediate needs during this crisis, we must also commit to ensuring that Canada becomes a digital identity nation. 

Australia has notably taken tangible steps towards establishing a digital identity program. Specifically, the Australian government hopes to create a single digital ID for every Australian citizen by 2025. Michael Keenan, the Digital Minister of Australia, says plainly that the initiative will save the country “tens of billions of dollars per year.”

It’s also clear that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has already accomplished a lot in Europe in a relatively short period of time. The law has forced some of the most powerful tech companies in the world to rethink and revamp the way that they operate.

The majority of Canadian citizens support a digital identity framework. What are we waiting for, exactly?

We must do this now, so that when the next emergency hits, we are well-prepared. 

Spotlight on Mastercard

1. What is the mission and vision of Mastercard?

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. We recently committed to the Mastercard Data Responsibility Imperative, as we believe that innovation is critical to business success and goes hand in hand with the ethical use of data. 

2. Why is trustworthy digital identity critical for existing and emerging markets?

Identity is what makes our existence in the world official: it is how countries recognize and see us, and it establishes citizens’ rights to national benefits. It is also the foundation for participating in the economy, and more importantly, to help grow the economy.

That economy is rapidly becoming digitized and globalized. Many of us live in a hyper-connected world, where digital services blend invisibly into our daily lives. It has changed the way we shop, do business, engage politically, obtain health services and communicate.

In all of this, trust is essential – organizations offering digital services and the people they are interacting with need to be confident of their interactions within this environment. A user-centric digital identity built on the premise of privacy- and security-by-design can help establish that confidence and trust as parties can validate who is on the other end of the transaction.

3. How will digital identity transform the Canadian and global economy? How does Mastercard address challenges associated with this transformation?

As the economy becomes increasingly digitized and globalized, identity will become our personal keys to every website, app and service. But the systems we have in place to establish, use and secure these crucial keys are fundamentally flawed.

An average user may be faced with 150 login accounts, all with disparate approaches to passwords and authentication. With the rapid growth of e-commerce, identity fraud is increasing, and that risk will multiply with the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s estimated that 75 billion smart devices will be in use across the globe by 2025. That’s why Mastercard unveiled its new Intelligence and Cyber Centre in Vancouver earlier this year. It will help us meet the growing demand for technology solutions to reduce the cost of cyber-attacks, enable today’s connected devices to become tomorrow’s secure payment devices, and address the growing vulnerabilities associated with IoT.

Last year, Mastercard introduced a consumer-centric model for digital identity. Guiding this model are the Principles of Digital Identity, which focuses on data rights and ownership, confidentiality, consent, transparency, security and inclusion. They amount to a fundamental individual right: “I own my identity and I control my identity data.”

4. What role does Canada have to play as a leader in the space?

Canada needs to fundamentally address how people manage their identity in a digital world, how that identity is verified, and how digital service providers that rely on that identity data can be best served. We need to build a digital identity system that answers the challenge without releasing the data, ensuring that the path forward is infinitely smarter and stronger than what we have now. Mastercard believes in local solutions and initiatives, such as the Department of Innovation, Science and Industry’s Digital Charter, as well as DIACC and its Pan-Canadian Trust Framework, that encourage domestic scale and global interoperability. At Mastercard, we believe scale is key to inclusion. 

5. Why did Mastercard join the DIACC?

Digital identity requires a collective effort, and Mastercard is committed to facilitating the network and helping define the rules and governance. Together, we have a real opportunity to transform digital engagement so that it’s convenient and doesn’t compromise on security.

We envision a digital identity service that is:

  • Simple: Enabling a user and a third party to interact easily, confidently, and with trust.
  • Smart: Allow digital interactions to occur with only minimal data exchanged.
  • Secure: Safeguarding data and the use of data effectively such that the rightful owners are in control. 

6. What else should we know about Mastercard?

Mastercard’s model for digital identity embodies privacy-by-design and does not aggregate identity data. It will enable digital interactions to occur with minimal data exchanged and only when needed. It will safeguard data and the use of data effectively such that the users are in control, with a person’s identity securely bound to their smartphone. Ultimately, the Mastercard model for digital identity enshrines the Mastercard Data Responsibility Imperative’s core principles aimed at ensuring innovation takes place in a responsible and secure way, driving relevant benefits for individuals and society.  

DIACC Investing in Quebec, Investing in Digital Identity

Canada urgently needs a truly Pan-Canadian Digital Identity ecosystem that is secure, privacy-respecting, and easy to use. 

That’s why DIACC focuses on solving one issue – accelerating the delivery of truly Pan-Canadian Digital Identity that works for every Canadian and ensures our full and beneficial participation in the global digital economy.

A truly Pan-Canadian approach to Digital Identity must represent the diversity and cultures of all Canadians. To establish a truly Pan-Canadian approach, DIACC engages with Canada’s private sector businesses of all sizes, as well as, Canada’s federal, provinces and territories. DIACC’s strategy prioritizes an economic and societal benefits-for-all approach. 

DIACC is proud to increase our investment in Canada’s success through two new areas of progress. 

  1. We are very pleased to welcome our newest team member – Francois Bedard.  Francois is DIACC’s Franco-Canadian Ambassador. Francois will help DIACC to engage with Quebec and all Canadian francophones from coast-to-coast-to-coast. 
  2. We are also pleased to announce that DIACC will re-launch in both of Canada’s official languages. 

And now… please meet Francois Bedard.