Tag Archives: Quebec

Setting up digital ID regime could provide boost to post-pandemic recovery

By Joni Brennan, DIACC and Antoine Normand, In-Sec-M
Originally published by The Hill Times

There is no clear policy directive in Bill C-11 that allows Canadians to understand what they can expect in terms of accessing the data the federal public service has regarding them.

If the global pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that the need for reliable and secure data is paramount as businesses, governments, and Canadians from Vancouver to Quebec City to Charlottetown and everywhere in between move online. 

From receiving emergency pandemic benefits to ensuring health records are correct and helping children and youth with online education, the pandemic has put a renewed spotlight on the need for governments to move with urgency to invest in digital infrastructure. In fact, it’s critical to ensuring Canadians receive the services they need and that businesses can participate fully and securely in the global digital economy.

At the core of this infrastructure is a secure digital identity, which is essential to the function of daily life during a pandemic. 

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 a recent survey from the Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada. Investing in digital ID makes economic sense, especially for small- and medium-sized enterprises. For SMEs, the impact of digital identity can be used to improve processes that are difficult today, resulting in a potential $4.5-billion of added value to SMEs and reinvestments in the Canadian economy.

In Canada, the DIACC and its participating banks have identified potential net savings per institution at or above $100-million per year, through operational efficiencies created by reducing manual processing costs and curbing fraud.

While retail sales fell by almost 18 per cent from February to May 2020, the Canadian e-commerce market doubled. Data from J.P. Morgan also shows that e-commerce sales are growing faster in Canada than in many other Western countries. From e-commerce to the sharing economy a robust, digital ID establishes trust, provides security, mitigates fraud and enables continued growth for the sector. This is a win for citizens/consumers and businesses.

Additionally, an estimated $482-million is lost each year on the manual setup of user accounts within federal and provincial government services because of the need to prove identity with paper credentials. Issuing digital ID credentials is essential to a modern government operating in the digital age.

These are just a few of the myriad ways in which digital ID can help contribute to our post-pandemic economic recovery. 

Contrary to several misconceptions, digital ID is not about surveillance or tracking Canadians’ online activity. It’s about using the identification Canadians already have offline (e.g.: passports, driver’s licences, health cards, citizenship cards); having those credentials securely issued digitally; and being able to use them for digital transactions—from opening a bank account from the comfort of home to accessing medical records to receiving government benefits quickly and easily.

There are technology solutions and services that already exist today to easily adopt a digital ID ecosystem. In fact, in Quebec, the government has committed to issuing a strong digital ID to residents in the province in 2021. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel—changes can be made through regulations and policy setting. 

Additionally, in order for a safe and secure digital ID ecosystem to be successful, a trust framework that instills confidence for Canadians is paramount. The DIACC spearheaded the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework, an international collaborative approach to modernizing digital service delivery that’s recognized by the World Economic Forum and others.. This made-for-Canada framework enables the development of an adaptable infrastructure that will make the Canadian digital ID ecosystem more resilient to future crises.

But there is so much more work to be done. Our digital future rests on getting the digital ID right. This means ensuring the federal government’s Digital Charter Implementation Act, Bill C-11, enacts a 360-degree rights regime and includes public-sector data subject to the legislation. There is no clear policy directive in C-11 that allows Canadians to understand what they can expect in terms of accessing the data the federal public service has regarding them. The federal government must empower Canadians to access their own data and be able to use the credentials associated with it in a modern digital economy.

In the province of Quebec, the proposed Bill 64 to protect personal data introduces new concepts of consent, disclosure obligations in case of a breach, the transfer of personal information to other jurisdictions and very strong penalties for contravening the act (up to four per cent of the worldwide sales).

Digital ID means decreased costs for governments, consumers, and businesses while improving service delivery and driving GDP growth. Not adopting digital ID in a meaningful way or not getting it right means more privacy and security breaches, loss of revenue for Canadian businesses and inefficiencies in government service delivery. There’s never been a better time to invest in digital ID. Our economic recovery depends on it.

Joni Brennan is president of the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada. Antoine Normand is president of IN-SEC-M, a Canadian cybersecurity cluster.

The Hill Times

New Partnership to Advance Digital Identity in Quebec & Across Canada

TORONTO, MONTRÉAL July 16, 2020 – The Digital ID & Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) and TechnoMontréal, the Technology Cluster of Greater Montréal, are pleased to announce a new partnership to propel collaboration to accelerate the adoption and development of digital identity.

The two organizations are coming together to identify projects and cross-sector connections to bring together Canada’s foremost leaders in industry and digital identity to increase the development of digital identity, data privacy and security innovation.

“This collaboration will accelerate the development of the digital identity, as well as the expansion of Québec and Canadian knowledge and expertise”

François Borrelli, President & Director of TechnoMontréal

The partnership between the two community-oriented organizations will support innovative Québecois, Canadian, and international organizations to facilitate an exchange of knowledge and expertise.

“We are pleased to be able to play an active role in the development of digital identity by catalyzing the Québec ecosystem and creating local and international partnerships,” said François Borrelli, President & Director of TechnoMontréal.

The initiative will expedite technical innovation and integration of digital identity solutions across sectors. “This collaboration will facilitate the mobilization of ecosystem players, to propel the development of digital identity across Canada and Québec,” added Borrelli.

The joint initiative will focus on strategic projects to advance digital identity, drive innovation, and ensure as many Canadians as possible can realize the benefits of a secure digital identity framework.

Projects will explore key opportunity areas for cross-pollination and technical advancements, including Smart Health and Smart Building Experiences. A Smart Municipality Digital Identity Roadmap with the City of Montréal will also be undertaken in support of TechnoMontréal’s smart city challenges win.

“TechnoMontréal shares our goal to bring together leading Canadian teams and technologies to create more innovative and effective solutions,” noted DIACC President, Joni Brennan. “We are excited to work together to deepen our connections with Québec and collectively build a digital identity ecosystem that offers the world a model to emulate.”

DIACC and TechnoMontréal share common values and are excited to forge new connections and partner on digital solutions across Canada and around the world.

With benefits to be realized at home and abroad, the strategic partnership will enhance the rate of adoption and advance technical solutions for Canadians. “This collaboration will accelerate the development of the digital identity, as well as the expansion of Québec and Canadian knowledge and expertise,” said Borrelli.

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.

About TechnoMONTRÉAL (https://technomontreal.com/)

TechnoMontréal, the Technology Cluster of Greater Montréal, unites technology industry players around growth-generating projects led by the industry. Established in 2007, TechnoMontréal is a non-profit organization that plays a major role in Montréal’s economic and social vitality by rallying the private, institutional, and public technology sectors around common goals and coordinated actions. TechnoMontréal’s vision is to enrich the business climate and encourage innovation by building bridges between the various actors in the industry. To this end, TechnoMontréal is implementing an approach that develops technologies through vertical markets, in partnership with the city’s leaders and clients.