Tag Archives: PCTF

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.

Progressing the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework (PCTF)

Since 2016, the Digital ID & Authentication Council of Canada’s (DIACC) Trust Framework Expert Committee (TFEC) has been developing the Pan-Canadian Trust FrameworkTM (PCTF). It is one framework with many partners, and we thank all of those involved for their contribution in this momentous achievement.  

Four years and 41 review and comment periods later, this engaging infographic highlights how the framework has progressed over the years to the launch of the PCTF MVP in September 2020.

Download the infographic: Progressing the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework (PCTF).

Adapting to Distance: How Digital Solutions are Creating a Path Forward for Traditional Industries

The pandemic has changed everything – in small, invisible ways and in big, obvious, and often dramatic shifts. “It is not business as usual. People are rushing to find solutions, and people who were procrastinating are committed to changing,” explained Patrick Drolet, VP, Operations and Product Strategy, Notarius

Traditional sectors, like the legal sector, banking, education, and government, are particularly impacted by requirements to stay physically distant. As organizations that are heavily reliant on paper documents, witnesses, and face-to-face meetings, working in a new digital and decentralized format can present challenges. 

“What has amazed me is the variety of people who want to go digital,” Marc St-Jacques, VP, Sales and Marketing at Notarius said. “Everything from government to industry, health, [and] universities.”

Making the transition to digital isn’t always straightforward. For many of these secure, highly sensitive industries, a foundation of strong, trusted, and protected digital identity is necessary to continue operating. As individuals and businesses shift their focus and, in some cases, scramble to quickly adapt, a delta is opening up between those who were already moving towards digital transformation – and those who were dragging their feet. 

“It is not business as usual. People are rushing to find solutions, and people who were procrastinating are committed to changing.”

“On the one hand, individuals forced into digital are going now. It also illustrates the disparity between approaches. The shift has made everyone stand out,” St-Jacques explained. Whether it’s because they’re practiced in offering digital solutions or because they’ve been holding off, St-Jacques says it’s easy to see how different businesses operate. 

The Pan-Canadian Trust Framework, can help close the gap between early adopters and laggards, and ensure everyone has a clear path to operating in an increasingly digital-first world. 

For Notarius, there are two product lines that have been in high-demand in the wake of COVID-19. The traditional “old fashioned identity” that is consistently a big part of their business, and renewed interest in the document part. Secure, remote digital signatures and document execution are presenting a lot of opportunities for their clients to move forward. At the onset of the pandemic, they offered 60-day free trials and special offers, helping make the transition even easier for clients.

Witnessing the Shift in Industries

The industries who are showing the most interest are traditional sectors that may have been slow to adopt and adapt to digital technologies. “We are seeing a lot of appetite from the government. It is refreshing to see, as [the sector] has been slow to adopt. The biggest uptake, though, is in the university marketplace, both inside and outside of Quebec. They have moved quickly,” St-Jacques said.

“In many instances, organizations were held back by a department or two,” St-Jacques explained. “Legal departments were often the roadblock.” Those departments, including IT and government sectors, are now transforming rapidly to keep up.

The change is not – and cannot – only happen at the organizational level, though. From provincial to federal governments, the pandemic is accelerating change. “There is a long list of laws that were not ID-friendly. Government used to be so slow. They are moving now, which is super exciting,” Drolet said. 

One example is the notary bar in Quebec, a completely paper-based line of work. Although digital transformation was under consideration for the past four or five years, in the COVID-19 era, it took just three weeks for a temporary law to be passed so notaries can work in a digital format. 

Across the board, attitudes are changing and, in many cases, charting a digital path forward is no longer an option – it’s necessary for survival. The Pan-Canadian Trust Framework ensures businesses from all industries will be able to interact seamlessly with government and other industries, creating more efficiencies and helping all Canadian industries meet a baseline for privacy, security and usability. 

Digital ID Helps Maintain Connections Across Closed Borders

In a highly connected, global environment, these tools offer more options to continue connecting internationally. “Foreign students need their transcripts, they want to do their exams. Transcripts are like the identity of organizations,” St-Jacques explained, connecting the trends in education to other sectors. 

Through Notarius, these identifying documents are connected with a digital signature that it is clear and immediate, appealing to teams around the world. “We’re seeing requests from Europe, Asia, and the US,” St-Jacques shared. 

“For the international part, we are the only one recognized by Adobe. We were the only platform certified with EIDAS, with the highest standards,” Drolet explained.

Looking Ahead as Old Barriers Come Down

While the situation has not been ideal for anyone, the speed with which many have had to respond to this serious outbreak has led to some positive changes. “Usually it would be a structured and siloed process. Now, everyone is scrambling and can take initiative,” Drolet shared. “They see the value and what used to take weeks, now takes 15 minutes. Unfortunately, the pandemic was the driver.” 

So, what does the future look like?

For digital identity, Drolet predicts a surge in interest and adoption. “Who are your competitors in the ID space? The bad guy used to be the pen, now even that guy is going away,” he said.   

For industries, St-Jacques envisions lasting change. “I really don’t see people going back,” St-Jacques predicts. Old concerns about security, processes, and reluctance to change are being dissolved, as the rapid changes set precedent for what’s possible.

No matter what comes to pass, digital identity will be an important lever for success. Join Canada’s digital identity ecosystem to be a part of leading the change.
The Pan-Canadian Trust Framework ensures privacy, security, and accessibility remain features of our economy as all industries face a global push to go digital. Learn more about how DIACC is aligning organizations across industries, sectors, and Canada toward digital transformation.