Tag Archives: digital ID

BC Government’s Verifiable Credential Issuer Kit Proof of Concept Report

The intent of this report is to communicate the project drivers, what the POC demonstrated, the experience and learning of the participants, and how governments might proceed to implement digital identity in their own programs. This report uses a narrative approach to summarize the results of this POC. This report provides strategic and operational insights regarding the results of this POC for other government entities that are interested in building a POC or production system using SSI. The report was written based on a set of interviews with people who were part of this initiative. The interviewees subjects included government staff, vendors who responded to the call to collaborate, and observers from within the identity management industry.

Download the paper.

DIACC_BC-Governments-Verifiable-Credential-Issuer-Kit_Proof-of-Concept-Report_ENG

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

Facial Biometrics: Liveness and Anti-Spoofing

Most of us understand how fingerprinting works, where we compare a captured fingerprint, from a crime scene for example, to a live person’s fingerprint to determine if they match. We can also use a fingerprint to ensure that the true owner, and only the true owner, can unlock a smartphone or laptop. But could a fake fingerprint be used to fool the fingerprint sensor in the phone? The simplest answer is yes unless we can determine if the fingerprint actually came from a living and physically present person, who might be trying to unlock the phone. 

In biometrics, there are two important measurements, Biometric Matching and Biometric Liveness. Biometric matching is a process of identifying or authenticating a person, by comparing their physiological attributes to information that had already been collected. For example, when that fingerprint matches a fingerprint on file, that’s matching. Liveness Detection is a computerized process to determine if the computer is interfacing with a live human and not an impostor like a photo, a deep-fake video, or a replica. For example, one measure to determine Liveness includes determining whether the presentation occurred in real-time. Without Liveness, biometric matching would be increasingly vulnerable to fraud attacks that are continuously growing in their ability to fool biometric matching systems with imitation and fake biometric attributes. Attacks such as “Presentation Attack”,  “spoof”, or “bypass” attempts  would endanger a user without proper liveness detection. It is important to have strong Presentation Attack Detection (PAD) as well the ability to detect injection attacks (where imagery bypasses the camera) as these are ways to spoof the user’s biometrics. Liveness determines if it’s a real person while matching determines if it’s the correct, real person.  

With today’s increasingly powerful computer systems, have come increasingly sophisticated hacking strategies, such as Presentation and Bypass attacks. There are many varieties of Presentation attacks, including high-resolution paper & digital photos, high-definition challenge/response videos, and paper masks. Commercially available lifelike dolls are available, human-worn resin, latex & silicone 3D masks, as well as custom-made ultra-realistic 3D masks and wax heads. These methods might seem right out of a bank heist movie, but they are used in the real world, successfully too. 

There are other ways to defeat a biometric system, called Bypass attacks. These include intercepting, editing, and replacing legitimate biometric data with synthetic data, not collected from the persons biometric verification check. Other Bypass attacks might include intercepting and replacing legitimate camera feed data with previously captured video frames or with what’s known as a “deep-fake puppet”, a realistic-looking computer animation of the user. This video is a simple but good example of biometric vulnerabilities, lacking any regard for Liveness.

The COVID19 Pandemic provides significant examples of Presentation and Bypass attacks and resulting frauds. Pandemic Stay-at-Home orders, along with  economic hardships, have increased citizen dependence on the electronic distribution of government pandemic stimulus and unemployment assistance funds, creating easy targets for fraudsters. Cybercriminals frequently utilize Presentation and Bypass attacks to defeat government website citizen enrolee and user authentication systems, to steal from governments across the globe which amounts in the hundreds of billions of losses of taxpayer money

Properly designed biometric liveness and matching could have mitigated much of the trouble Nevadans are experiencing. There are various forms of biometric liveness testing:

  • Active Liveness commands the user to successfully perform a movement or action like blinking, smiling, tilting the head, and track-following a bouncing image on the device screen. Importantly, instructions must be randomized and the camera/system must observe the user perform the required action. 
  • Passive Liveness relies on involuntary user cues like pupil dilation, reducing user friction and session abandonment. Passive liveness can be undisclosed, randomizing attack vector approaches. Alone, it can determine if captured image data is first-generation and not a replica presentation attack. Significantly higher Liveness and biometric match confidence can be gained if device camera data is captured securely with a verified camera feed, and the image data is verified to be captured in real-time by a device Software Development Kit (SDK). Under these circumstances both Liveness and Match confidence can be determined concurrently from the same data, mitigating vulnerabilities.  
  • Multimodal Liveness utilizes numerous Liveness modalities, like 2 dimensional face matching in combination with instructions to blink on command, to establish user choice and increase the number of devices supported. This often requires the user to “jump through hoops” of numerous Active Liveness tests and increases friction.  
  • Liveness and 3-dimensionality. A human must be 3D to be alive, while a mask-style artifact may be 3D without being alive. Thus, while 3D face depth measurements alone do not prove the subject is a live human, verifying 2-dimensionality proves the subject is not alive. Regardless of camera resolution or specialist hardware, 3-dimensionality provides substantially more usable and consistent data than 2D, dramatically increasing accuracy and highlights the importance of 3D depth detection as a component of stronger Liveness Detection.

Biometric Liveness is a critical component in any biometric authentication system. Properly designed systems require the use of liveness tests before moving on to biometric matching. After all, if it’s determined the subject is not alive, there’s little reason to perform biometric matching and further authentication procedures. A well-designed system that is easy to use allows only the right people access and denies anybody else.  

Care to learn more about Facial Biometrics? Be sure to read our previous releases Exploring Facial Biometrics. What is it? and Facial Biometrics – Voluntary vs Involuntary.

About the authors:

Jay Meier is a subject matter expert in biometrics & IAM, and an author, tech executive, and securities analyst. Jay currently serves as Senior Vice President of North American Operations at FaceTec, Inc. and is also President & CEO of Sage Capital Advisors, LLC., providing strategic and capital management advisory services to early-stage companies in biometrics and identity management. 

Meyer Mechanic is a recognized expert in KYC and digital identity. He is the Founder and CEO of Vaultie, which uses digital identities to create highly fraud-resistant digital signatures and trace the provenance of Legal and financial documents. He sits on DIACC’s Innovation Expert Committee and has been a voice of alignment in advancing the use of digital identity in Canada.

Additional contributions made by members of the DIACC’s Outreach Expert Committee including Joe Palmer, President of iProov Inc.

DIACC Membership Appoints 2021 Board of Directors

June 22, 2021 – The Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada, (DIACC) today announced the appointment of five (5) nominees to the five seats up for election at its Virtual Annual General Meeting held online on June 17, 2021. 

Newly elected to the Board: 

  • Iliana Oris Valiente, Managing Director at Accenture

Re-elected to the Board:

  • Colleen Boldon, Director, Digital Lab and Digital ID Programs, Public Services and Smart Government, Province of New Brunswick
  • Neil Butters, Head, Digital Identity Innovation & New Ventures, Interac Corp.
  • Robert Devries, Assistant Deputy Minister, Platforms, Government of Ontario
  • Louis Jacob, Vice President, Core Engineering and Transformation, Manulife

“On behalf of the DIACC, I am pleased to welcome Iliana to the Board. Her expertise in innovation and emerging technologies will bring great strategic value to the group,” congratulates President Joni Brennan, “The DIACC will make important progress in the year ahead, as Canada’s largest and most inclusive community of digital identity leaders.”

“I look forward to continuing working alongside our qualified and esteemed Board to drive forward digital ID as a national priority,” said Dave Nikolejsin, Board Chair. “Together we will work to champion, educate, and ensure the adoption of digital identity to empower people, businesses, health care centres, academic institutions, and civil society.”

DIACC Directors are elected industry leaders who set the organizational strategic directions and ensure good governance is practiced, ensuring policies and procedures are continually improved and align with the vision and representation of DIACC membership. 

The full listing of the DIACC Board of Directors: 

  • Dave Nikolejsin, Strategic Advisor, McCarthy Tetrault & Board Chair
  • Franklin Garrigues, Vice President Digital Channels, Mobile for Everyone, TD Bank & Board Vice-Chair
  • Andre Boysen, Chief Identity Officer, SecureKey & Board Treasurer
  • David Attard, SEVP, Head of Personal and Business Banking, CIBC
  • Colleen Boldon, Director, Digital Lab and Digital ID Programs, Public Services and Smart Government, Province of New Brunswick
  • Marc Brouillard, Chief Technology Officer, Government of Canada
  • Neil Butters, Head, Digital Identity Innovation & New Ventures, Interac Corp.
  • Patrice Dagenais, Vice President, Payment and Business Partnerships, Desjardins Cards Services (DCS)
  • Susie De Franco, General Manager, Digital Channel & Products, Canada Post
  • Robert Devries, Assistant Deputy Minister, Enterprise Digital Services Integration Division, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, Government of Ontario
  • Louis Jacob, Vice President, Core Engineering and Transformation, Manulife
  • Hugh McKee, Head, BMO Partners
  • Iliana Oris Valiente, Managing Director, Accenture
  • CJ Ritchie, Associate Deputy Minister & Government Chief Information Officer, Province of BC
  • Eros Spadotto, Executive Vice-President, Technology Strategy, TELUS

2021 marked the end of the three year term of Allan Foster, Vice President of Global Partner Success, Forgerock on the Board. DIACC thanks him for his service and dedication, and looks forward to continuing to work with Forgerock as a DIACC member organization.

Following the trend of the past few years, the number of nominees far exceeded the number of Board seats available. DIACC thanks all highly qualified nominees for taking part in the process. This reflects the growing interest and investment by Canadian individuals, governments and businesses in making digital ID a national priority.

About the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (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.

Covid has accelerated Canadians’ demand for digital ID

Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada research finds that three-quarters of Canadians feel it’s important to have a secure, trusted, and privacy-enhancing digital ID to safely and securely make transactions online

Access the full Canadian Digital Identity Research 2020 Report

Access the Multi-page Synopsis

Access the One-page Synopsis

Toronto, February 16, 2021 —   As more Canadians and businesses are moving online throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, three-quarters of the population feels it’s important to have a secure, trusted and privacy-enhancing digital ID to safely and securely make transactions online. 

“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,” said Joni Brennan, President of the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC). “The pandemic has put a spotlight on the need for governments to move with urgency to invest in the digital infrastructure needed to ensure that Canadians receive the services they need and that Canadian businesses can participate fully and securely in the global digital economy.”   

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. 

“As policymakers consider how best to invest to support Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery, prioritizing the issuance of trusted digital ID credentials to all Canadians must be a priority,” stated Dave Nikolejsin, the DIACC’s Board Chair. 

As the federal government focuses on post-pandemic recovery, investing in digital ID makes economic sense, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. For SMEs, the impact of digital identity could be used to improve processes that are difficult today. This is especially true in situations where businesses need to provide proof of identity to another business. Considering SMEs account for approximately 30 per cent of Canada’s overall GDP ($450 billion), if we assume that the average SME could be just one per cent more efficient with access to trusted digital identity, this results in a potential $4.5 billion of added value to SMEs and reinvestments in the Canadian economy.

Digital ID critical to privacy in Canada

Survey respondents identified security, efficiency and privacy as the top three benefits of digital ID. Further, an overwhelming number of Canadians are looking for solutions that address both the public and private sectors. 

“As Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne ushers through Bill C-11, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, to introduce private sector protections for consumer data, it’s imperative that public sector data also be considered in the legislation,” said Brennan.

A digital ID would help to keep Canadians’ data secure and pan-government services easier to access as we move through the pandemic to recovery. This means adopting the Pan-Canadian trust framework.

With new research and compelling data, it’s clear there is no better time for governments to invest in making digital ID a national public policy priority.

ABOUT DIACC
DIACC is a growing coalition of public and private sector organizations who are making a significant and sustained effort to ensure Canada’s full, secure, and beneficial participation in the global digital economy.  By solving challenges and leveraging opportunities, Canada has the chance to secure at least 3% of unrealized GDP or $100 billion of potential growth by 2030. Seizing this opportunity is a must in a digital society as we work through the COVID pandemic challenges. Learn more about the DIACC mandate
DIACC was created as a result of the Minister of Finance’s Electronic Payments Task Force that recommended that Canada needs a framework for digital identity and authentication that a self-governing body of experts must create.

ABOUT THE STUDY
Burak Jacobson Research Partners is a full-service market research consulting firm headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. Founded in 1981, Burak Jacobson has conducted over 4,000 research projects in 39 countries across various industries.

DIACC International Pilots Special Interest Group “Un-panel”

In recognition of the 2021 International Data Privacy Day taking place January 28th, Joni Brennan, President of the Digital ID & Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC), hosts an “un-panel” with guests from around the world who are committed to focusing on issues around data privacy, empowering people while ensuring they’re protected, and advancing the international data governance landscape.

Guests include:

  1. Joni Brennan (Canada)
  2. Mark Lizar (Canada)
  3. Dick Dekkers (Netherlands)
  4. Steve Pannifer (UK)
  5. Paul Theyskens (Belgium)
  6. Sal D’Agostino (USA)

If you’d like to learn more about how to get involved in DIACC’s international activities, please contact info@diacc.ca.

The PCTF is a tool for implementing Canada’s Digital Charter

It’s well-established that digital technology is the defining force of our modern lives. Work, play, social, commercial and political interactions are all taking place online. In the era of social distancing, the already crucial migration to digital platforms has accelerated, leaving many Canadian citizens, organizations and governments eager to get online with confidence.

That confidence must extend beyond the internet connection – it is fundamental for developing trust amongst Canadians that the systems, organizations, and information they are interacting with and sharing are reliable and secure. Trust encompasses personal data protection and empowerment, so that Canadians have the ability to share their information, in exchange for products or services, and decide when and what information they want to share.

Protecting their data is crucial. As is the need to remain open, innovative, and leading in an increasingly competitive global digital market. Canadians know that data is important – both to use and to protect.

Canada’s Digital Future: Built on Values and The Digital Charter

Leveraging input from Canadians who are eager to develop skills and talent for the future of work, drive innovation for more competitive advantage, and ensure that privacy and trust remain a priority, the Federal Government of Canada has launched the Digital Charter.

The Digital Charter details a plan to reach all of those goals with ten principles in place to guide decisions and set priorities:

  1. Universal Access
  2. Safety and Security
  3. Control and Consent
  4. Transparency, Portability, and Interoperability
  5. Open and Modern Digital Government
  6. A Level Playing Field
  7. Data and Digital for Good
  8. Strong Democracy
  9. Free from Hate and Violent Extremism
  10. Strong Enforcement and Real Accountability

Ultimately, the Digital Charter sets out a mission to make Canada home to a privacy-respecting, “innovative, people-centred, and inclusive digital economy built on trust.” The vision aligns closely with the DIACC’s public and private sector focused Pan-Canadian Trust FrameworkTM (PCTF)

The PCTF development and definition of core sections have been carefully steered by Canadians who are leaders in diverse industries and the public sector. From the outset, it has been designed through multi-jurisdictional collaboration. DIACC acts as a convening body to synthesize the expertise, needs, and requirements of public and private sectors and represent the interests of all Canadians. The Trust Framework offers insight into how Canadians’ values can be reflected across industries, locations, and use cases in practical ways. The first version, that is currently being tested in-market, reflects back these ten principles in concrete, actionable and thorough standards.

Enabling Everyone through Digital ID and the Pan-Canadian Trust FrameworkTM

The Digital Charter is used to implement a digital ecosystem as a whole that respects Canadians’ need for safety, security, and opportunity. To make that vision a reality, digital identity needs to be built in from the outset, and factored in by design. 

The PCTF has been developed by Canada’s public and private sectors as a comprehensive tool to establish interoperability of personal and business data as well as the security practices that governments and businesses will require to ensure that the benefits of people are kept at the centre of design and decisions. The Trust Framework provides a clear method for rallying Canada’s diverse industries, provincial and territorial systems, and users around agreed-upon standards for the best possible security, user experience, and outcomes. 

The PCTF offers a pathway for governments, businesses, and individuals to plug into the benefits of the digital economy and interact seamlessly across Canadian entities without ever reconsidering or faltering that high degree of trust. 

The PCTF directly addresses many of the principles outlined in the Digital Charter, accelerating progress on the top six in particular. Expertise in security, consent, user experience, and interoperability have been guiding forces from the beginning of the PCTF development. These values are echoed in the Charter and ensure all Canadians and Canadian organizations of all sizes are able to take advantage of the convenience and potential scale afforded by digital technologies. 

At its core, the PCTF is intended to increase data access and extend opportunities to all Canadians, whether they’re setting up their first business and offering online services or reviewing their health records from home. Ensuring they’re able to complete these and all tasks online with speed, ease, and peace of mind that their information is secure is the goal.

Ensuring that delivery of benefits to all Canadians is at the core of the digital economy, the PCTF maintains that businesses and governments must provide reliable, accountable, and interoperable services. Giving Canadians the freedom of choice and simplified user experience they have come to expect. 

PCTF has data privacy and citizen/resident data empowerment built into every aspect of the standards, offering universal standards and a simple implementation approach for organizations to follow. The Digital Charter is about reprioritizing personal data protection. Paired with the PCTF, it will ensure individuals interacting online will be respected and protected as individuals at the core of the digital economy, with business and governments acting as standards implementers, law enforcers, and service providers in service of Canadians.

Learn more about the DIACC’s critical work in progressing the PCTF. Please contact us if you are interested in getting involved at info@diacc.ca.

A Summary: Making Sense of Identity Networks

Who do identity networks serve, what functions do they support, and what are some key questions to consider, when selecting a network? This infographic distills the key concepts laid out in the DIACC white paper Making Sense of Identity Networks, based on research performed by DIACC member Consult Hyperion and developed in consultation with DIACC members.

Download the infographic: Making Sense of Identity Networks Infographic 

Download the paper: Making Sense of Identity Networks