The Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) is advocating for the creation of a federated digital identity scheme in Canada. The organization is trying to answer the call of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which has previously argued that banks and financial institutions should spearhead digital identity efforts.
According to the WEF, banks should handle that responsibility because they are heavily regulated (and therefore trusted), and because they have the cybersecurity infrastructure needed to operate at a national scale. The CBA largely agrees, but specifically advocated for a federated approach to digital ID rather than a centralized one. In that regard, the organization argued that a centralized identity framework is risky because it consolidates everything in one place. That makes it an appealing target for cybercriminals, and can lead to inconsistent service if something goes wrong.
A federated system, on the other hand, spreads that responsibility across several stakeholders. That makes the system more resilient, since the network will continue to function even if one service provider gets compromised.
In that regard, the CBA pointed out that Canada already has a federated political structure, with both the federal government and provincial governments tasked with handling different parts of the identity infrastructure. The CBA believes that a federated digital identity system would strengthen those ties, in a way that is already familiar to most Canadians.
Telecommunications providers, law enforcement agencies, and banks are some of the other institutions that would participate in the CBA’s proposed identity scheme. Each person’s national digital ID would likely be linked to their driver’s license, their health card, and certain payment information, in addition to biometric fingerprint and face data. It could also be linked to other personal information like credit score, criminal records, sexual and gender identity, and vaccination status.
The CBA is making its case in a white paper titled Canada’s Digital ID Future – A Federated Approach. The Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) has found that there is growing support for digital IDs amongst the Canadian public, and has published a Pan-Canadian Trust Framework in an effort to establish industry standards for such a scheme.
Source: Western Standard