Monthly Archives: July 2022

Spotlight on PXL Vision

1. What is the mission and vision of PXL Vision?

PXL Vision has one vision – A world full of trust built on verifiable digital identities to make secure, frictionless and reliable identity verification available to everyone.

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

At PXL Vision, we believe in ensuring existing and emerging markets continue to experience strong growth that consumers, governments and businesses alike need to have 100% certainty in the trust of Canada’s digital identity ecosystem. Trust in digital identity is paramount to adoption to prevent identity fraud and protect citizens from misuse of personal data with a solid contribution to economic growth.

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

Digital identity will transform the Canadian and global economy alike by providing consumers access to services that are not currently accessible for so many. COVID has undoubtedly accelerated the need for digital IDentity. We have seen the positive impact on the economy by allowing remote non-face-to-face access for consumers to financial services, corporations, government institutions, law firms, accounting firms: and essentially any institution that previously required in-person ID verification.

Digital Transformation requires collaboration with industry experts to ensure success and scalability. At PXL Vision, we offer AI-powered identity verification tailored to your unique needs – Your business is unique. It has its own needs in security, compliance, user experience, infrastructure, business processes, and more. Our platform is uniquely flexible and adapts to your needs. It fits your existing business processes, and you can configure it to match your individual preferences.

Our customers get rid of manual processes and drive revenues, reduce process and compliance costs, open up new digital channels and boost customer conversion, preventing identity fraud and building consumer trust. Leverage the world’s most flexible identity verification platform.

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

Canada has an incredible opportunity through DIACC and its highly respected member participants to create a trusted framework for Digital Identity that will drive the local economy and be recognized and leveraged globally. Canada is poised to be a role model in the global development of identity ecosystems.

5. Why did your organization join the DIACC?

DIACC is creating the gold standard for Digital Identity in Canada. As the most highly respected association in the Canadian digital identity market, it makes sense that PXL Vision is part of such an organization. With PXL Vision now having a local presence in Canada, we are not only able to be a member but also to participate in the local Expert Committees to provide a global perspective from our Swiss-based experiences. PXL Vision is the technology behind the SwissID in Switzerland, and we are pleased to share best practices as Canadian provinces and the federal government digitize Canadian Government-issued IDs.

6. What else should we know about your organization?

We are a Swiss premium provider of best-in-class technology for scalable, configurable identity verification worldwide. Our AI-powered solutions help businesses of any size to reduce the cost of customer onboarding and compliance, drive revenue growth and prevent identity fraud. We strive to provide the most reliable, quickest and seamless identity verification that anyone can use anytime, anywhere.

Our journey started as a Swiss high-tech spin-off of the prestigious Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). With experience in identity verification since 2011, our company was founded by former key employees of Dacuda AG in 2017. Within three years, we became the Swiss market leader, helping companies like Swisscom, SwissID and Swisslife verify their customers securely and reliably. Since then, we have expanded internationally with a presence in Europe and North America. We are serving our customers with an international team of 70+ experts.

At PXL Vision, we provide Enterprise-grade identity verification for any business. Premium identity verification is configurable to your individual needs. Choose between our flexible Plug-and-Play solution or build your own custom experiences.

Customize the experience with PXL Pro – Integrate individual modules and features to build your own custom experience. PXL Pro provides the highest possible flexibility and allows configuration to fit your unique requirements. Build a customized experience that your customers and your business will love.

Mix and match our SDKs and APIs to build your own verification flows.

Choose between mobile vs. web, cloud vs. on-premises deployment, wholly tuned to your individual needs and fully integrated into your pre-existing business processes.

With PXL Ident®, leverage our end-to-end process, plug-and-play solution covering all phases of identity verification, including the following key areas:

– SMS/eMail verification

– Self-declaration

– Document verification

– Face verification / Liveness detection

– Address validation – PEP/SL check

– Additional document scan

– Electronic signature

A cloud-based plug-and-play solution that gets you started immediately.

An end-to-end process with all the essentials for your identity verification and onboarding needs.

Dynamic workflow engine for tailored configuration of your verification processes. Simple integration with minimal technical knowledge is required.

Reach out to learn more about PXL Vision:

Doug Lister. VP Sales – Canada

(M) 647-221-1969

Spotlight on the University of Sherbrooke

1. What is the mission and vision of the University of Sherbrooke?

As a leading research university recognized for the originality of its programs, the University of Sherbrooke is committed to working with its communities to train responsible citizens that will change the world. That is why the University of Sherbrooke has created an Interdisciplinary Research group that brings together over 14 professors committed to developing Canadian expertise in digital identity.

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

Identity has been central to civilization since the dawn of time. It serves to establish the structure and functioning of society. A trusted digital identity is therefore critical for existing and emerging markets because the digitization of our societies must be supported by standardization of digital identity that favours the continuum of exchanges of goods, services and information while maintaining an adequate quality of service. Thus, it now seems trivial that the protection of privacy relies as much on a sound management of personal information, including cybersecurity, as on a strict control of any secondary use of data that could be associated with our identity.

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

Digitization is pervasive in our society. It is a fundamental part of every democratic action and business transaction. With digital transformation, the reality of the market forces businesses to outdo themselves in order to offer products and services at ever-improving prices. As a result, digital identity is becoming the cornerstone of the current and future development of our organizations. This pressure is sustainable if businesses manage their means of production in an agile and sustainable way. Universities are experiencing this transformation through the accelerated renewal of their course offerings, the need to implement a digital campus, the way they reach their clientele and the acceleration of certain research. Among the challenges is the research on the trust relationship necessary for the proper functioning of digital identification.

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

Canada has caught up and is now considered a world leader in digital identity. This is fundamental because every transaction or action in a system relies on the correct identification of the third parties involved – people, organizations and objects. In addition, efficient digital identity management enables economies of scale that benefit all Canadians.

5. Why did your organization join the DIACC?

As an academic researcher interested in digital identity, this is a key interest group, connecting key players from business, government, academia and other key stakeholders. The DIACC has an established structure and drives a lean operation with international visibility. They help make research relevant by making digital identity issues visible, including through their design, governance, operationalization, standardization, etc.

6. What else should we know about your organization?

The University of Sherbrooke’s reputation for dynamism and innovation attracts students and professors from all over the world. Its international partnerships and human, intellectual and scientific potential allow it to be an actor of global change. In 2020-2021, the University will have 31,328 students in the three cycles of higher education in eight faculties supported by 7,398 people. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

DIACC 2SLGTBQIA+ in Identity Spotlight: Scott Long

DIACC is hosting a series of spotlights showcasing, connecting, and empowering diversity within the DIACC membership. These spotlights will be hosted on and socialized through DIACC’s member and social network.

If you’re a DIACC member and would like us to feature your spotlight, contact us today to learn more!

Tell us about your career journey.
I started my career at a young age. I worked as a co-op student at Ontario’s Vehicle Sales Regulator, and at the end of my placement, I was hired as a full-time legal assistant. After two years in that role, I moved to a different department where I could enhance my people skills. I travelled around Ontario, conducting car-buying seminars for consumers and educational sessions for car dealerships. After six years in the regulator space focusing on education and communications, I moved to my current role at the Canadian Finance & Leasing Association. I now manage the association’s communications and membership services – a perfect combination of my passions.

I think an opportunity for the next generation will be normalizing all genders and sexualities in the workplace. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still work to do.

Scott Long

Prior to starting your career, what was your dream job and why?
In all honesty, I could never settle on a dream job. My friends and family knew that my “dream job” was always a flavour of the month, like becoming a cardiovascular surgeon, because it looked like a cool job on television. Unsurprisingly, my shaky hands and abysmal biology grades shut that brief ambition down. Overall, I just wanted to work with many people in customer service, education, or communications.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?
Since the pandemic, I’ve found it extremely difficult to disconnect. Work bled into life because it became so accessible. The best way I’ve managed balancing both is by asking myself, “Can this wait until tomorrow morning?” I’ve found that this question helps put things into perspective and realize that there’s more time available than I thought.

As a 2SLGTBQIA+ leader, what have been the most significant barriers and opportunities in your career?
The most significant barrier I’ve faced is a question that I suspect everyone in the community has asked themselves: “What will they think of me when they figure out I’m gay?” It has stopped me from speaking up, applying for jobs, and even engaging in camaraderie with colleagues. Being gay gives you an outsider’s perspective because of the time we’ve spent in the closet, either pretending to fit in with the norm or avoiding it altogether. While challenging at times, the lasting impacts have allowed me to look at things more objectively. This has helped me be more patient and understanding with colleagues and stakeholders. We never know what someone else is dealing with personally or professionally.

❝Inclusive policies and advertising are only effective when they’re practiced regularly.❞

Scott Long

What will be the biggest challenges and opportunities for the incoming generation for 2SLGTBQIA+ people?
I think a big challenge will be dealing with tokenism. It’s fantastic to see organizations pay more attention to social issues but can sometimes rely on marginalized staff to provide answers to complex questions. I think an opportunity for the next generation will be normalizing all genders and sexualities in the workplace. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still work to do. More exposure can help our community feel more comfortable without fearing rejection.

Would you like to suggest actions that can be taken to encourage more 2SLGTBQIA+ to pursue careers in the digital identity/tech space?
I’d suggest moving away from corporate-speak, like boilerplate language in job advertisements that only say “equal opportunity employer” or only publishing 2SLGTBQIA+ communications in June. Inclusive policies and advertising are only effective when they’re practiced regularly.

Do you recommend any strategies or tactics to help 2SLGTBQIA+ amplify their organizational voices?
Remember that each time you speak up, it doesn’t mean you have to come out of the closet again. Sexuality doesn’t make you better or worse at your job, so speak to matters you know about. Even if it sounds ridiculous in your head, that could mean nobody has thought about it.

What advice would you give to 2SLGTBQIA+ people entering the digital identity field?
In the grand scheme, digital identity and tech are “new” ideas. Our community has trailblazing experience, so I suggest 2SLGTBQIA+ persons use their unique perspectives to move these ideas forward.

Scott Long is Manager, Membership & Communications at the Canadian Finance & Leasing Association
Follow Scott on LinkedIN

The Future of Digital Identity: Contracts & Signatures

By Meyer Mechanic, Founder and CEO at Vaultie with additional contributions made by members of DIACC’s Outreach Expert Committee.

In the 22 years since electronic signatures were made legal for business use in Canada, they’ve become a mainstay of how we interact with our customers. As they’ve gained familiarity, use, and traction, there has been a group of companies (that are becoming smaller) that wouldn’t adopt the technology. About 4 years ago, I started asking what barriers are preventing sensitive documents such as wills, financial instruments, notarized documents, and major contracts from being digitally signed (as opposed to “wet-ink” signatures) and what protections would need to be in place for these types of documents to go that route. 

What does the future hold for sensitive digital contracts? What is in use today?

Not all signatures are created equal, and different products have different features. For simplicity, let’s break electronic signatures into three categories: E-signature, digital signature, and credentialed signature (Digital ID).

What are they?

E-signatures – These were the first iterations acceptable in court, although are no longer accepted in some provinces. A simple electronic indicator that can be attributed to the user. This could be as simple as typing your name in a box, adding a jpeg, or clicking to produce an image to imitate how your name would look when written with a pen. The precedent law on this is actually that the footer of an email could be enough to consider something electronically signed.

Digital signature – A digital signature uses a combination of public and private keys to issue certificates with encrypted claims that could be attributed to a document. When signing a document with a digital signature, information about the session could be recorded, such as what email address the user was logged in from or when they issued this certificate. All of this information could be presented as evidence that you’ve signed a document. You likely use this type everyday without even knowing it, it’s common for financial services, real estate, and even everyday business. These signatures sacrifice a little bit of privacy in order to create some more evidence as to who has signed.

Credentialed signature (Digital ID) – A signatory verifies their ID (usually government-issued) against a biometric, and a credential is created for them by a credential issuer, which is usually an identity and access management company, or the integrated signature provider company. That credential can then be applied to a series of digital assets (mostly contracts) to verify that a live person signed a document. That credential may include other permissions as well, such as authentication from additional issuers based on a series of attributes of the signatory (e.g., job title, professional designation, educational status, etc.). This expands the reach of a traditional digital signature in two key ways. First, the verified ID and biometric checks expand assurances of the signature to the person on the other side of the screen, who was present at the time of signing. Second, with a Credentialed signature we can prove that the signature hasn’t been subject to fraud and the signer is, in fact, who they claim to be. This allows the document to be universally verified which means that a party who was not in the room when a document was signed can still ascertain who, specifically, signed a document and that it hadn’t been altered. This type of signature is only starting to take hold, but is already in use for financial assets, both tangible and digital, art, and many situations where there is a higher risk of fraud.

Future of Digital ID in contracts

As more sensitive types of documents begin to go digital, higher levels of assurances are becoming imperative as methods of resisting fraud attempts. While an E-signature may be an appropriate tool for a retail business with lower stakes, there is growing adoption of Credentialed Signatures for high-value sales such as securities, precious metals, legal contracts, real estate, digital assets, and more. We are already seeing the adoption of these standards in multiparty financial agreements, where a customer and a third-party agent may agree to a transaction, but the funder is not present in the room. The application of a digital ID in these cases protects all parties involved since the funder can verify every aspect of a contract without having to ever meet the customer and the customer has a verifiable document that could be easily proven should anything ever go awry. The use of Credentialed Signatures protects the asset and can confirm Know Your Customer (KYC)/Anti-Money Laundering (AML) assurances while helping the signer claim ownership by creating direct connections between them and the asset. We see this niche growing substantially over the next five years and better-linking people to their digital worlds.    

The Future of Digital Identity: Healthcare

By Michael Magrath, Managing Director, Digital Identity at Kuma with additional contributions by members of DIACC’s Outreach Expert Committee.

If there is one industry that everyone participates in, it’s healthcare. Believe it or not, Canada’s healthcare system is far more progressive than many other nations, but there is a lot of room for improvement. Our patient experience can and will be improved as the sector continues down its digital transformation journey. Identity management and in general, digital identity, will be a major factor for healthcare providers and patients alike. This blog will focus on patients, because after all, you are one.

Patient identity is at the centre of healthcare. Treating the wrong patient by misidentification, has led to everything from allergic reactions to death. Indeed, providing high quality care to the right patient is paramount.

While everything seems to be going digital today, healthcare is rooted in the offline, physical world, and full transformation to digital is a long and arduous journey. Provincial governments have done arguably a respectable job enabling us to prove who we are via our health insurance cards presented at point-of-care. The card includes our name, date of birth, photograph, provincial health card number along with physical security features like holograms to thwart the production and use of fake cards.

But what about in the digital world? As good as our health insurance cards are at point-of-care, they do not prove who we are online. The pandemic only magnified these shortcomings. At the moment, there are wide-scale social engineering and phishing attacks designed to trick individuals to share their online account login credentials to takeover accounts, access company files and assets, drain bank accounts, and create false identities, to name a few. In 2022, we need a secure, voluntary, and privacy-enhancing digital identity in order to cease the use of passwords for login to protect our digital lives.

A digital identity is a digital representation that uniquely identifies a person presented to service providers, such as a physician’s office, hospital, bank, or government agency when accessing online services. Like a driver license, possessing a digital identity is not a government mandate and should be a choice for an individual, but it does make life easier and more secure when transacting business online.

Changes are coming which will significantly improve our lives as patients. Have you ever lost a paper prescription or had to wait for the pharmacist to call your doctor because their handwriting is illegible? There is a better way – electronic prescriptions sent by your physician to the pharmacy are commonplace in many countries, and even mandated in some.

Those in the “sandwich generation,” caring for themselves, their children, and their elderly parent(s) know the frustrations of coordinating care with multiple healthcare providers. Patient portals have added convenience for Americans to schedule appointments, view test results and medical records, and will soon benefit all Canadians. To protect patient privacy and security, healthcare organizations need high assurance that the person accessing the portal is who they claim they are. Digital identity can enable all of the above, and if you don’t use one already, a digital identity wallet may be in your future.

Digital identity wallets are just what they sound like. They are analogous to physical wallets in that they contain digital versions of the wallet owner’s identity proofs and related assets. These assets typically include digital versions of familiar physical cards and documents (e.g., driver’s license, proof of insurance, health cards, etc.). They are highly secure and provide consumers with the ability to protect their privacy and have control over their information by sharing what they choose with an organization. The example often used for a digital or mobile driver license is entering a nightclub. The bouncer at the door only needs to know that the person is of legal drinking age. They do not need the person’s name and home address. To protect privacy and security, the digital wallet holder can share only their age with the bouncer. When was your child’s last tetanus shot? It could be a few clicks away, securely stored in your digital wallet accessible from your mobile device.

As we can see the light at the end of the dark and deadly pandemic tunnel, life will noticeably change. One positive change will be our online safety and security. With Web3 on the near-term horizon, having and utilizing digital identities will be more important than ever for all Canadians.