Canadian leaders must prioritize and champion digital ID to unlock capabilities for social inclusion and economic recovery
TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2021 — More than 100 financial institutions, telcos, technology companies, consulting companies, SMEs, academic partners, international organizations, and nonprofits have declared they are digital ID champions in a campaign by the Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC), launched today. The DIACC calls on all political parties and private sector leaders to prioritize digital ID to unlock the digital economy as a critical path forward to pandemic recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically accelerated the pace at which Canada is shifting online. Many things we used to do ‘in person’ — from grocery shopping to medical appointments — we now do without ever leaving our home. At the same time, a global army of hackers are working to exploit online security vulnerabilities to access sensitive personal information.
“Canadians need digital ID credentials that empower them to use digital capabilities, while knowing their personal information is respected and secured,” says DIACC president Joni Brennan. “Technology alone can’t solve today’s challenges. Digital ID that works for everyone must be a public policy priority. Canadians want their governments to work with stakeholders to unlock digital ID multi-use credentials that protect their personal privacy while accelerating economic recovery.”
Now more than ever Canada needs Digital ID Champions. Digital ID Champions:
- Promote digital ID to accelerate economic recovery and secure equitable social inclusion.
- Work with DIACC and others to establish privacy-protecting digital ID that empowers individuals, businesses, the public sector and civil society.
Digital ID has foundational importance for every Canadian and every political party.
The Liberal Party platform’s proposed “digital policy task force” ” would strongly benefit from secure, privacy-respecting, and citizen empowering digital identity if it wants “to position Canada as a leader in the digital economy and shape global governance of emerging technologies, including with respect to data and privacy rights, taxation, online violent extremism, the ethical use of new technologies, and the future of work.”
The Conservative platform acknowledges the need for Canadians to understand how their data is being used. Digital ID provides a tool for making this possible. As the platform notes, “Digital data privacy is a fundamental right that urgently requires strengthened protection through legislation and enforcement. Canadians must have the right to understand and control the collection, use, monitoring, retention, and disclosure of their personal data.”
The NDP’s promise to include a digital bill of privacy rights in its platform will gain much needed utility from a citizen empowering digital ID ecosystem .
The Bloc’s platform commitment “to improve support for the digital transition of businesses to enable a local, inclusive, and secure economy,” is also important in both a local and global digital economy. Digital ID can help Quebec and other communities to enable business transformation while enabling capabilities to verify the authenticity of Quebec existing and emerging cultural IP.
For these commitments to be implemented effectively, a strong and secure digital ID ecosystem must urgently be established. Creating a digital identity ecosystem now, supported by a pan-Canadian Trust Framework, will enable an effective transition to secure Canada’s full and beneficial participation in the digital economy, whether it’s introducing digital vaccine proofs, receiving government benefits, updating an immigration status, entering the workforce and more.
“Digital ID is the key to effective economic recovery that will grow social inclusion and equity,” says Brennan. “We urge all Canadian leaders to be champions for digital ID by working with the DIACC and others to ensure social inclusion and accelerate economic recovery through secure and privacy protecting digital ID that empowers individuals, businesses, the public sector and civil society.”
For more information on becoming a digital ID champion, please visit: https://diacc.ca/champion/
The DIACC (Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada) is a non-profit coalition of more than 110 leading public and private sector organizations that are committed to developing a Canadian framework for digital identification and authentication. Our member organizations range from small 1-5 person shops to large multinational corporations with over 15,000 employees. We advocate for an inclusive, equitable, and privacy-enhancing digital ID strategy that works for all Canadians.
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