The Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) has shared the results of a survey that suggests that COVID-19 has generated more interest in digital IDs in Canada. The survey specifically found that the majority of Canadians believe that provincial and federal governments should be trying to bring digital IDs to their residents, while a full three-quarters believe that those IDs will play a key role in online transactions moving forward.
According to the DIACC, the survey also showed that the Canadian public wants the government to collaborate with private companies to create a national framework for digital identities. The organization argued that digital ID can facilitate COVID-19 recovery, since it streamlines identity verification procedures and makes it easier for businesses and individuals to work with one another and/or gain access to various government services.
The respondents identified security, privacy, and efficiency as the three main benefits of digital ID technologies. The DIACC itself recently introduced a Pan-Canadian Trust Framework to establish technical standards for digital ID programs in the country. The organization found similar support for digital identity technologies in a public survey back in 2019.
“From receiving emergency pandemic benefits to ensuring health records are correct, there are many ways in which a secure digital ID is essential to the functioning of daily life during a pandemic,” said DIACC President Joni Brennan. “The pandemic has put a spotlight on the need for digital infrastructure to ensure that Canadians receive the services they need and that Canadian businesses can participate fully and securely in the global digital economy.”
“As policymakers consider how best to invest to support Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery, the issuance of trusted digital ID credentials to all Canadians must be a priority,” added DIACC Board Chair Dave Nikolejsin.
The facial recognition specialist Acuant joined the DIACC in November. The province of Ontario, meanwhile, is currently moving forward with plans for its own digital identity system, and is now asking the public to comment on its proposal.