Proposals for digital identity are emerging in Canada and around the world. The goal is to make it easier for individuals, businesses, and governments to confirm identity information and carry out transactions online.

Privacy and transparency must be at the core of any digital ID system that people will trust and ultimately adopt.

In a joint resolution released today, Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial privacy regulators are calling on governments and stakeholders to ensure that privacy and transparency rights are fully respected throughout the design, operation, and evolution of a digital identity ecosystem in Canada.

“For citizens to feel comfortable using digital identity systems, they must fundamentally trust them. Today’s resolution sets out the conditions necessary for nurturing that trust,” said Patricia Kosseim, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Among these conditions, digital ID systems should be optional and fairly accessible to all. They shouldn’t force people to identify themselves when it isn’t necessary to access a product or service. Only the minimum amount of personal information necessary to confirm identity should be collected, used, or shared and people’s activities shouldn’t be tracked. Digital ID systems must be secured from identity theft, fraud or other harms and, most importantly, governments and organizations must be held accountable for their use and subject to independent oversight.

Read the joint resolution to learn more about the recommendations by Canadian privacy regulators for digital identity systems.


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