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2022 Pre-Budget Submission

DIACC’s Written Submission for the Pre-Budget Consultations in Advance of the 2022 Budget

Ahead of the 2022 federal budget, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance has asked Canadians to share their input. 
DIACC is pleased to have submitted a brief, calling on the Federal Government to implement the following recommendations: 

  1. That the government secure adoption of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework by businesses and governments.
  2. That the government act on the Finance Committee’s 2021 Pre-Budget Consultation Recommendations 128, Implement a digital identity system that empowers Canadians to control their data that is held by the federal government, and 129, Create a national data strategy.
  3. That the government work with provincial and territorial partners and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to ensure that all Canadians have access to an ISO-compliant government-issued digital ID credential with economy-wide utility by December 2022.
  4. That the government make digital identity-enabled services available to all Canadians by December 2022.
  5. That the government prioritizes funding and integration of digital ID as part of the Digital Technology Supercluster Initiative.

The Key to Unlocking an Inclusive Digital Economy: Investing in Digital ID

To re-start the economy and deliver inclusive services to all Canadians, governments must invest in unlocking digital. Digital ID empowers Canadians with the choice to safely share their existing credentials (eg: passports, driver’s licenses, health cards) for digital transactions.

Investing in digital ID offers economic benefits to citizens, businesses, and governments and also establishes digital tools to support societal trust, security, privacy, and fraud mitigation. This is a win for all.

Few budget items have the potential to impact every government initiative – digital ID is one such investment with broad impacts and encompassing benefits. Digital ID offers service improvements across all government services and priority areas. This initiative has the potential to empower individuals, increase government efficiency, strengthen companies, and unite communities across the country with secure access to resources, economic development, trust, and support. 

Canadians understand the potential. The pandemic has been an intense and polarizing experience, leading many Canadians to lose faith in institutions. The Edelman Trust Barometer reports that 46% believe that government leaders purposely misled them. At the same time, Canadians are relying more on technology, with the digital sector growing 3.5 percent in 2020, while the economy as a whole shrunk by 5 percent. With digital transformation happening across the country, Canadians are aware that online privacy is crucial. A recent poll from The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada reports that 89 percent of Canadians are concerned about people using information about them online to steal their identity. 

How can the government build trust, enhance privacy, and demonstrate that citizens’ rights are top priority? The answer is clear: 9 in 10 Canadians are supportive of digital ID. Citizen-centric, standards-aligned Digital ID offers an ecosystem that reopens doors closed by the pandemic and unlocks entirely new paths to economic resiliency, cohesion, and social trust.

🔑 Recommendation 1: Implement adoption of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework by businesses and governments to ensure Canadians are empowered post-pandemic and have clarity in building a secure, interoperable, and privacy-respecting digital ID.

The Pan-Canadian Trust Framework™ (PCTF) is a co-created framework that any jurisdiction — federal, provincial, or international — and industry sector can work with to ensure business, legal, and technical interoperability to realize the full benefits of a digital ecosystem. Rather than seeking a single solution, the PCTF promotes choice and offers a shared hub and language that distinct solutions can interoperate through. Developed by public and private sector experts over a decade, the PCTF provides organizations of all sizes, across sectors, industries, and locations with shared principles and guidelines for a digital ID ecosystem. Built based on recommendations from the federal government’s Task Force for the Payments System Review in 2011, this work has been identified by the public and private sectors as key for Canada’s economic resilience but remains underfunded. 

While provinces, territories, and countries around the world set up COVID credentialing and proof of vaccination systems, the need for these systems is urgent. The credentials issued must be designed with common principles and security to enable acceptance across various jurisdictional and sector-specific solutions for their unique context. The PCTF makes this possible, working as a flexible foundation to connect systems without dictating a single technological architecture. 
The PCTF includes adaptable recommendations that are currently being tested in-market, including standards for Notice and Consent, Authentication, Privacy, Verified Person, Verified Organization, Credentials (Relationship and Attributes), Infrastructure (Technology and Operations) and Assessment. A Model, Overview, and Glossary have been published for ease of use across industries and sectors. Developed with Canadians in mind, the PCTF is technology-agnostic, encouraging innovation while prioritizing privacy, safety and security, and supporting digital economic growth on a global scale.

🔑  Recommendation 2: Put citizens first and integrate cross-government priorities. Act on the Finance Committee’s 2021 Pre-Budget Consultation Recommendations 128, Implement a digital identity system that empowers Canadians to control their data that is held by the federal government, and 129, Create a national data strategy.

Empowering individuals to control their data, understand available services, and have more convenient and secure access to government services offers a direct path to rebuild trust. A recent Leger survey commissioned by Postmedia reports that the pandemic has eroded trust in the federal government, either a little or a lot, for 63% of Canadians. After a challenging year, it is critical that the budget puts citizens first. Digital ID is a proactive initiative that offers immediate and long-term benefits. It has the potential to restore confidence, act on Canadian values, and empower citizens.

Providing Canadians with the digital ID credentials necessary to access, manage, and share their own data ensures citizens have control over the important information they need to manage their health, business(es), and digital services. A national data strategy ensures all Canadians benefit from these advances. It also clarifies accountability for those who seek to use technology and personal information with malicious intent. A pan-Canadian strategy evens the playing field for businesses looking to operate digitally across provincial, territorial, and global borders. This approach also enhances Canadians’ ability to compete economically on a global scale, travel, and seek care with the virtual mobility afforded by a secure, verifiable digital ID. 

🔑 Recommendation 3: Ensure all Canadians benefit from digital connections, opportunity, and the right to be recognized with digital ID. Work with provincial and territorial partners and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to ensure that all Canadians have access to an ISO-compliant government-issued digital ID credential with economy-wide utility by December 31, 2022.

Digital ID is the key, as the pandemic has built and opened new doors for Canadians navigating their safety, financial security, health and relationships. According to a study by Brookfield Institute, 9 percent of Canadian businesses made 60 percent or more of their total sales online, up from 6 percent in 2019 — but this digital success has been difficult for small to medium enterprises to adopt. As digital service adoption grows, citizen and employee expectations have also shifted to demand more reliable and secure digital alternatives. Digital ID can encourage sustainable, long-term adoption of digital platforms and help organizations of all sizes to benefit from these systems. It also presents a more flexible and streamlined strategy for pan-Canadian notification systems, service delivery, and community safety initiatives.

Provinces and territories are establishing their own digital ID initiatives. Alberta and British Columbia have launched digital IDs, with BC including a mobile card and a Verify by Video option. Significant investments have been made in Ontario and Québec, where proof of vaccination credentials have been launched. Saskatchewan, Yukon, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick are launching pilots, proof of concepts and digital ID components. 

This prioritization demonstrates demand for this enabling capability across the country — but unequal funding and approaches developed in departmental silos pose a risk. Without cohesive federal leadership, these systems will be disjointed and miss the opportunity to be truly interoperable, efficient, and useful for all Canadians. Unlocking these opportunities in a synchronized and equitable manner will ensure Canadians can all access economic opportunities, required public services, and the chance to manage their own personal information.

🔑  Recommendation 4: Collaborate for the highest and most equitable impact. Make digital identity-enabled services available to all Canadians by December 2022.

As the provincial and territorial governments take action to simplify and secure digital identities, private companies are also taking note of this massive market opportunity. Notably, Apple is teaming up with the TSA to be a trusted source of ID for Americans and Stripe is pursuing digital ID services partnering with other apps, including Discord, for user verification. Many more companies are entering the digital ID space in hopes of earning users’ trust and capturing market share. As the issuer of identity in Canada, the public sector is uniquely positioned to empower Canadians and enable the private sector — but the government needs to act now. 

While offering numerous economic and social benefits locally and globally, a Canadian digital ID builds citizen trust and mitigates risk. As the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security noted, “the number of cyber threat actors is increasing, and… Cybercrime will almost certainly continue to be the cyber threat most likely to affect Canadians.” This vulnerability means that Canadians urgently require an encompassing, policy- and leadership-driven approach to implementing and enforcing Privacy by Design principles. A McKinsey report confirms this, suggesting that, for national governments to address the heightened risks presented by cyber threats, “organizations can move from a ‘trust but verify’ mindset to a ‘verify first’ approach.” Pressures and requirements for proof of vaccination, contact tracing, and social distancing are also made possible, digitally secure, and more user-friendly through universal data minimization standards. 

Digital ID offers the key to unlocking secure digital services and pathways. With opportunities to boost job creation, economic growth, citizen wellbeing, COVID-19 planning, support, and mitigation, and reconciliation efforts, digital ID is a budget line that prioritizes and directly benefits all Canadians. Digital ID offers Canadians more personalized control over personal information and convenient access to services. It can increase mobility and connect intra-provincial and territorial systems. It offers an opportunity to strengthen innovation and establish a secure foundation for international collaboration.

🔑  Recommendation 5: Embed within existing ecosystems. Prioritize the funding and integration of digital ID as part of the Digital Technology Supercluster Initiative. Digital ID supports and intersects its areas of focus including health, sustainable natural resource applications, and digital training.

Strides are already being made by Canadians. Purpose-built solutions, like the COVID Alert App, demonstrate that Canada has the talent and innovation to adapt and develop market-leading solutions. Unfortunately, the $20 million price tag and reactive nature of these innovations could be improved. The app has also not been approved by data authorities in Alberta, British Columbia, Nunavut, and Yukon, making it an incomplete solution that doesn’t account for different provincial regulations. Due to the nature of the pandemic, a pan-Canadian solution isn’t a nice to have — it’s a must. Digital ID is a proactive investment that could provide similar benefits in contact tracing and offer lasting impacts on service delivery. 

Digital ID has the potential to add $4.5 billion of added value to SMEs and reinvestments in the economy. It also directly meets the needs and preferences of consumers, with Signicat reporting that 68 percent of consumers expect 100 percent digital onboarding in the wake of COVID-19 and 60 percent would value digital identities to access services internationally. Canada has an opportunity to lead, recover, and take a future-focused position by making an investment in digital ID. 

Prioritizing digital ID is putting Canadians today and in the future first, and reflects responsible investment that offers benefits across departments. Its utility and impact apply during and beyond health or environmental crises. Digital ID delivers an adaptable foundation to deliver new services, security, citizen engagement opportunities, and economic growth.

DIACC members work in partnership with the Government of Canada and all levels of government and welcome further conversations and collaboration.

All sources may be referenced within the PDF version, accessible here or below.

DIACC_Pre-Budget-Consultations_August_2021

Canada’s Community of Digital Identity Leaders Grows to Over 100 Members

Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) welcomes the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, City of Toronto, Deloitte, the Province of Quebec, and VISA as members.

Toronto, June 1, 2021 — Governments and businesses across Canada are embracing the opportunities presented by digital ID to deliver secure, trusted and privacy-enhancing digital services to enable Canadians to transact efficiently and securely online. As Canada’s community of public and private sector digital ID leaders, the DIACC is pleased to welcome the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, City of Toronto, Deloitte, the Province of Quebec, and VISA as members. 

“Today, more than ever before, our communities, our businesses, and our citizens are looking to the leaders within the DIACC to help deliver a robust, secure, trusted digital ID ecosystem that works for all Canadians. Our economy depends on it,” stated David Nikolejsin, Chair of the DIACC Board.

“We are thrilled to welcome this new cohort of public and private sector members to the DIACC,” said Joni Brennan, DIACC President. “With over 100 members including the government of Canada, provincial governments, municipal governments, financial institutions, telcos, technology companies, consulting companies, SMEs, academic partners, international organizations, and nonprofits, the DIACC is Canada’s largest and most inclusive community of digital ID leaders.”

“When the DIACC began nearly a decade ago, it was a small group of passionate public and private sector organizations committed to unlocking economic opportunities for Canadian consumers and businesses while protecting and promoting Canadian values and perspectives in the digital economy,” said Eros Spadotto, EVP, Telus. 

“Building on the vision of the founding members, the non-profit DIACC coalition has grown to over 100 private and public sector leaders who are working together towards establishing an interoperable ecosystem that Canadians can use with confidence,” added Robert Devries, Assistant Deputy Minister Platforms, Ontario Digital Service.

In 2020 the DIACC  delivered on that vision with the launch of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework™, a robust, privacy-enhancing trust framework shaped by Canadian values that permits trusted digital identity and provides clear guidelines on digital interoperability. 

Recent research by the DIACC underlines Canadians’ desire for, and expectation of secure, trusted and convenient digital transactions – a desire that has increased as a result of the pandemic. 

“From receiving emergency pandemic benefits to ensuring health records are correct and helping children and youth with online education, there are many ways in which a secure digital ID is essential to the functioning of daily life during a pandemic – and beyond,” added CJ Ritchie, CIO of the Government of British Columbia. 

According to the DIACC research, the majority of Canadians believe it is important for federal and provincial governments to move quickly on enabling digital ID in a safe and secure manner, according to the survey. It also shows that collaboration between governments and the private sector continues to be considered the best approach to create a pan-Canadian digital ID framework. 

With the addition of these new members and increasing demand from Canadians, it is clear that there is no better time for governments and businesses to invest in making digital ID a national public policy priority.

ABOUT THE DIACC

The DIACC is a non-profit coalition of public and private sector leaders committed to developing a Canadian digital identification and authentication framework to enable Canada’s full and secure participation in the global digital economy. The DIACC was created as a result of the federal government’s Task Force for the Payments System Review and members include representatives from both the federal and provincial levels of government as well as private sector leaders.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Krista Pawley 

Krista@ImperativeImpact.com

416-270-9987

Newly Launched Digital ID Framework to Begin Testing in Canada

Governments and Businesses to Begin Testing Across Canada

TORONTO, September 15, 2020 – The Digital ID & Authentication Council of Canada (“DIACC”) today announced the launch of the Pan-Canadian Trust FrameworkTM (“PCTF”), a set of digital ID and authentication industry standards that will define how digital ID will roll out across Canada. Its launch marks the shift from the framework’s development into official operation and will begin alpha testing by public and private sector members in Canada. The alpha testing will inform the launch of DIACC’s PCTF Voila Verified Trustmark Assurance Program  (“Voila Verified”), set to launch next year.

“The pandemic has pushed digital adoption five years into the future. Without the proper infrastructure for digital ID and authentication in place, we’ve seen firsthand how Canadians have been left vulnerable and with limited access to essential services” said Eros Spodotto, Executive Vice-President, Technology Strategy and Business Transformation at TELUS

“Trust and security are the foundations of the digital economy. The key to unlocking a true digital experience comes from having a digital ID ecosystem that extends beyond any one sector.”
– Franklin Garrigues, VP Digital Channels at TD Bank, and DIACC Board Vice-Chair

From open banking to e-health, digital ID is a key enabler in unlocking the next frontier of our digital economy. Banks and telcos fortunately have been able to leverage existing digital ID services to support Canadians. “Digital identity verification has helped countless Canadians receive financial aid during the pandemic,” notes Andre Boysen, Chief Identity Officer at SecureKey, “but it’s not enough. Now, we need to leverage that momentum, and push out a solution for digital ID in all levels of society. The PCTF is that answer.”

“The PCTF launch marks an important milestone in Canada’s digital transformation initiatives,” exclaims Dave Nikolejsin, Board Chair at DIACC, “Canadians have had to deal with identity theft and fraud, high anxiety in accessing services that they were in dire need of while facing social distancing measures, and attempting to go about their lives as normally as possible. Digital ID minimizes all of those pain points, and elevates the livelihoods of Canadians everywhere.” Joni Brennan, President of DIACC, adds, “Our economy has also been heavily impacted by all this, and we know digital identity has the potential to add at least 3 percent of GDP, which is potentially almost $100 billion back into our Canadian economy. This is why we’ve accelerated the launch of the PCTF. The time for digital ID is now.”

“The Digital ID Laboratory of Canada is a proud partner of the DIACC, with a strong community that is ready to support the launch of the PCTF and ensure that together, we can accelerate the adoption of user-centric and interoperable digital ID solutions across the country.”
Pierre Roberge, General Manager of the Digital ID Laboratory of Canada

Alpha testing of the PCTF will be carried out by over 20 Canadian public and private sector DIACC member organizations during the next two quarters with the purpose of operationalizing the framework as fast as possible. Organizations that have volunteered to take part in the alpha test seek to gain strategic and operational insights to become demonstrated leaders in digital identity. 

Learnings taken from the alpha testing will help DIACC identify what is needed to scale up a digital identity infrastructure across Canada, and help Canada secure international digital interoperability and accreditation by working with international and third party partners such as eIDAS and Kantara Initiative IAF

A Digital ID Trademark You Can Trust

The alpha testing will also inform the launch of the DIACC PCTF Voila Verified Trustmark Assurance Program (“Voila Verified”). The program is set to launch in fall 2021, and will issue a PCTF Voila Verified Trustmark to organizations who demonstrate compliance with PCTF components. Voila Verified will enable solutions and service providers to leverage the trustmark to elevate their market leadership and allow them to collaborate securely with assurance, providing their customers with the digital-first experience that they demand. 

“We’re pleased to work with the DIACC to help recognize the Voila Verified Program on an international scale. It is through secure global credentials that we can transform the state of digital identity, and progress the digital economy worldwide.”
– Colin Wallis, Executive Director of Kantara Initiative

Multijurisdictional Collaboration: Enabling Trusted Digital Inclusion for All

The launch of the PCTF comes at a time when having a strong digital economy is no longer a ‘nice-to have’; rather, it is imperative for Canadians. More than 70 per cent of Canadians want to see the government and private sector collaborate on a joint identity framework in Canada. “We’ve seen the benefits and advantages of digital ID for people in British Columbia during this pandemic,”, said CJ Ritchie, Associate Deputy Minister and Government Chief Information Officer for the Province of British Columbia, “From government to healthcare, commerce, and financial services, the entire provincial economy is being impacted by COVID-19. Having a robust digital identity/trust ecosystem allows all Canadians to do more online, in a safer, more secure and confident way.”

The PCTF was developed collaboratively between public and private sector stakeholders, with contributions from a broad array of individuals and organizations around the world. Over 3,400 public comments were provided over four years that helped progress the framework to its launch today. 

“The framework released today was created through an incredible collaboration involving hundreds of people who worked to contribute, comment, and lend their ideas,” noted Peter Watkins, Program Executive for the Pan-Canadian Digital ID at the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service, “we’re committed to continuing our multi-jurisdictional collaboration as we move into the next stages for this important work.”

About the PCTF & Voila Verified Program

Details on the PCTF may be found in this backgrounder.
Details on the Voila Verified Program may be found in this backgrounder.