Digital Frontiers

Digital Identity

ARTICLES

Policy Model for Digital Identity and Electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC)

Countries across the world have been upgrading their public infrastructure for better service delivery in the digital era. One of the key developments in many countries is the implementation of a digital identity (ID) system. A major use case for digital ID has been electronic know your customer (e-KYC) processes, leveraging the digital ID system.…

Commercially Sustainable Roles for Mobile Operators in Digital ID Ecosystems

This research by the GSMA Digital Identity programme has revealed that when a digital ID ecosystem has been built properly and supported by the public and private sector, ID verification during customer on-boarding can provide commercial benefits and opportunities for MNOs. It may also help governments meet public policy objectives and open access to life-enhancing…

Digital Identity: Accelerating Financial Inclusion During a Crisis

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, people around the world have been unable to conduct their affairs in person due to restrictions on movement. In response, governments and the mobile industry have come together to implement policy changes that facilitate wider access to digital financial services. To better understand these ID-linked policy changes and…

Ghana’s Identification Ecosystem

This report provides an overview and analysis of Ghana’s identification ecosystem (IE). It discusses seven major identification (ID) systems: Birth Certificates, Voter ID cards, National Health Insurance cards, Driver’s Licences, Passports, National Identification cards (Ghanacard), and SIM cards. The authors focus on how these ID systems — especially the Ghanacard and Sim cards — shape…

Identity Proofing for COVID-19 Recovery

In order to address the systemic as well as the immediate challenges associated with COVID-19, Cenfri and FSD Africa have developed a guidance note, targeted at regulators, financial service providers and market facilitators, that provides clear steps and actions to take in transitioning toward remote identity proofing. The guidance highlights how traditional modalities for customer due diligence…

Women, Work and ID

Digital identity — or identification in a digital age — is often pursued from the supply side, in terms of increasing access to legal identification. Caribou Digital, supported by the Australian Government, through the Commonwealth Digital Identity Initiative, conducted qualitative research on women, work and ID in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in 2019. This report, shares…

Financial Inclusion for Fishing Communities through Digital Identity – Mobitel Sri Lanka

The Mobile for Development Digital Identity programme has been supporting digital identity innovations to improve lives across Asia and Africa. Here is a mobile digital identity use case, of enabling financial inclusion for informal fishing communities in Sri Lanka, developed in partnership with Mobitel Sri Lanka.

Good ID in Latin America

Digital identity is essential for the sustainable digital transformation of society, the public sector and the economy. One question arises: Under what circumstances can digital identification be a tool for inclusion or pose a risk to the rights of individuals? Amid this dilemma comes the global Good ID movement, which seeks to recognize and promote the…

Biometric Recognition and Authentication Systems

This guidance outlines the security profiles of biometric recognition technologies, and how to build secure authentication systems which incorporate them. This document is concerned with biometric systems for the verification of individuals, and will cover only those modalities which are commercially available, and appropriate to the field of cyber security. These are: fingerprint, face, iris, vein pattern, and speaker recognition.

Innovative Mobile Digital Identity Solutions: Financial Inclusion and Birth Registration

This case study looks at two start-ups that are using mobile technology to establish functional and foundational identities in the Caribbean and Burkina Faso, and looks at how those could be developed to provide people with further access to services.

Identity at the Margins: A Journey Continued

This narrative is a composite of experiences shared with the Caribou Digital research team, including direct quotes, presented in three short vignettes to highlight critical elements of how refugees engage with the identification systems of UNHCR and other humanitarian organisations.

Opportunities for Improving Digital Identification in Social Cash Transfer Programmes through Mobile: Insights from Kenya and Malawi

Through qualitative and quantitative research with more than 540 people across the two countries – including experts from the mobile industry, international development community, and private sector – GSMA identified and explored a range of insights and opportunity areas for mobile.

Access to Mobile Services and Proof of Identity

The ability to prove one’s identity is essential to securing both rights and access to a number of life-enhancing services including healthcare, voting, education, financial services, employment and social protections. As we continue advancing in the digital age, identification becomes ever more critical to gaining access to mobile connectivity and a range of mobile services…

Citizens and States: How Can Digital ID and Payments Improve State Capacity and Effectiveness?

In Bangladesh, a mother can now receive her child’s education scholarship through her mobile phone account instead of having to stand in long lines at the school on a prearranged day for a cash handout. Not only does this save her time and effort and provide accurate and documented payment, it also relieves school officials…

Guidance on Digital ID

Digital ID systems are evolving rapidly.  To determine whether a digital ID is suitable, governments, financial institutions and other stakeholders should: Understand the assurance levels of the digital ID system’s technology, architecture and governance Given its assurance levels, determine whether it is appropriately reliable, independent in light of potential risks that it is used to…

Leveraging Mobile to Accelerate Digital Identity Ecosystems: Considerations for Policymakers in Africa

The white paper written by Yiannis Theodorou, Acting Head of Digital Identity at GSMA, discusses how mobile could be leveraged to accelerate digital identity ecosystems in Africa.

Passwordless Authentication: The Next Breakthrough in Secure Digital Transformation

Authentication is the cornerstone of secure digital transformation for platform businesses, and beyond that, a pillar of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: from internet of things (IoT) devices that need authentication for machine-to-machine communication, to artificial intelligence (AI) that will be used both to secure and bypass authentication systems, and even blockchain, for which trustworthy authentication…

The Identities Research Project

The Identities research project explores user experiences of identity technology, brought to you by Caribou Digital, Omidyar Network and the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (IIITB). The need for user-centered research in “digital identity” arose out of concerns around top-down identity systems and lack of insights on how these are being understood and used,…

Digital Identity and Social Cash Transfers

The efficient implementation of social protection systems – and particularly social cash transfers – requires new digital tools that facilitate the efficient selection and enrollment of beneficiaries and the targeted and transparent delivery of funds. Effective methods of verifying beneficiary identities are essential to these processes; however, several issues are likely to hinder this. This…

Principles on Identification for Sustainable Development

In 2017, a group of development partners, international organizations, government agencies, and NGOs actively working to design and support identification (ID) systems came together organically to develop a set of shared principles essential for maximizing the benefits of identification for development while mitigating the risks. These Principles on Identification for Sustainable Development have now been endorsed by…

Digital Identity Tracker

The Digital ID Tracker®, produced in collaboration with PYMNTS.com and Jumio, is a monthly resource for updates on trends and changes in the digital ID industry.    

Decentralised Identity

This short article from GSMA explains the concept of decentralised identity.

State of Aadhaar 2019

Conceived as an ambitious project to provide universal identity to more than one billion Indians, Aadhaar is unparalleled in its reach and aspiration. An important objective of the project has been to improve the ability of the Indian state to provide efficient, transparent and targeted delivery of welfare services to a large number of residents…

Privacy by Design : Current Practices in Estonia, India, and Austria

Digital identification systems, integrated with civil registration, can play a transformational role across many development areas, such as financial inclusion, expanding access to services and social safety nets, and effective humanitarian response. But while the opportunity is great, so are the risks. One set of risks results from collecting, using, and managing personal data, which…

Advancing Financial Inclusion through Digital ID

In Peru, a public–private initiative uses the country’s national ID system to verify users of a cellphone money platform – allowing small traders to do business simply, securely and without cash. In this case study you will meet Maria – she’s a small business owner who was initially hesitant in signing up to Peru’s e-wallet app, BIM.…

How To: Create Digital ID for Inclusive Development

 This guide from USAID explores the intersections between development programmes and broader ID systems. Targeted at development practitioners – including donors, programme managers, and monitoring and evaluation specialists – this report from USAID explores the intersections between ID systems and development aims. In the first section of the report, the authors highlight the impact of…

Blockchain and Digital Identity

There are few things more central to a functioning society and economy than identity. Without a way to identify each other and our possessions we would hardly be able to build large nations or create global markets. Unfortunately, there are persistent – and increasingly serious – problems with the way digital identity works. For historical and other reasons, the digital…

Beyond KYC Utilities: Collaborative Customer Due Dilligence

The private and public sectors are increasingly leveraging new technologies to deliver collaborative approaches for financial service providers (FSPs) to meet customer due diligence (CDD) requirements. These include sharing data and elements of compliance functions on a level that was previously unthinkable. By pooling resources, these collaborative approaches have the potential to lower CDD costs…

The role of privacy frameworks in building trust for digital identity services

With an estimated 1 billion people worldwide who lack an official proof of identity, mainly underserved populations located across Africa and Asia, the risk of exclusion from increasingly digital economies remains high as the ability to digitally prove one’s identity is typically core to most online transactions. In addition to being able to prove one’s…

Digital Identification & Finance Initiative Africa: An Overview of Research Opportunities

This white paper, provides a summary of the channels through which the knowledge and technological benefits of digital payments and digital IDs can catalyze change in the implementation of welfare initiatives and household decisions surrounding these programs. It highlights four open areas of research that DigiFI is interested in for African countries—supply-side channels, demand-side channels,…

Economic Identities for Small Business Owners: Insights from Nigeria

Recent end-user research conducted by the GSMA Digital Identity programme highlighted that informal business owners in Nigeria – many of which are women – often struggle to demonstrate their personal and business credentials to service providers and customers. As a result, they often lack access to market information and support, pay more for financial services…

Digital Identity Series

DAI produced a Digital Identity Series, which gives and overview of Digital ID. Connect to each part of the series below: Digital Identity Series Part 3: Barriers to Inclusion for All Digital Identity Series Part 2: Digital Identity and Politics Digital Identity Series Part 1: Digital Identity and Informed Consent

Omidyar Network Unpacks Good ID

To be truly empowering, Omidyar Network believes digital forms of identification must embed privacy, inclusion, user value and control, and security. Public and private ID issuers should also build trust through transparency and accountability. Good ID is our normative framing for any digital identity system that prioritizes individual empowerment while ensuring adequate safeguards. We envision the Good ID frame to be inclusive…

Digital identity opportunities for women: Insights from Nigeria, Bangladesh and Rwanda

Drawing on in-country qualitative research, this study from the GSMA explores the specific incentives, challenges, preferences and benefits that women and girls will encounter, compared to men, when engaging with digital identity systems or services. It identifies how both men and women navigate day-to-day identity-related pain points, as well as the short- and long-term incentives…

Un-Blocking identity in a Digital World

Distributed Ledger technology (DLT) is often held up as a solution for payments, money transfers and currencies. But a new paper by The Whitechapel Think Tank, supported by UK Finance, looks at how technology can provide a potential solution to safely validating identity and verification.

Digital Identity: Restoring Trust in a Digital World

This paper from Mastercard presents a vision of how digital interactions will evolve. It describes the role that trust will play in those interactions and explains why Mastercard views digital identity as fundamental to that trust. It proposes an efficient and inclusive model of digital identity that is collaborative in nature, and establishes clearly defined…

Mobile-enabled Economic Identities for Smallholder Farmers in Ghana

The report highlights key research findings that show how the ubiquity of mobile technology has created a platform for gathering, storing and processing data on the economic behaviours of end users, including smallholder farmers.

Exploring the Gender Gap in Identification: Policy Insights from 10 Countries

This 10-country study by the GSMA explores the intersection between cultural, social and policy barriers facing women and girls when accessing and using ID and provides gender-sensitive solutions for governments to ensure a more enabling ID-related policy environment.

Innovative Mobile Solutions Linking Health and Identity

This case study explores four innovative mobile-enabled health solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia which have been developed to use mobile technology to identify patients to create unique digital health identities to allow for improvements in service delivery and in some cases identify new patients for treatment.

Digital Identity Opportunities in Zambia, Uganda, Sri-Lanka and Malawi

Over one billion people around the world, including more than 230 million women and girls in the Commonwealth, lack official proof of identity. Recognising that mobile technology and mobile network operators (MNOs) are well-positioned to tackle this issue, the GSMA explored the identity landscape in Malawi, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and Zambia – four countries at distinct stages on their…

Digital Identity Ecosystems

Identity is a data-rich key that acts to unlock all levels of the emerging digital ecosystem. All forms of ID carry some risk, but digital forms of ID, or “dematerialized ID,” cuts across all sectors and generates particularly copious data about people, their behaviors, financial status, associates, and potentially even political and religious views. Over…

E-Identity Solutions in Europe – An European overview

Digital identity solutions are essential for a European internal market. Europe can benefit from the existing experience and diversity of solutions in European countries. This study examines the European e-identity landscape as well as success factors for high dissemination and acceptance. In addition to the ease-of-use, which is essential for e-identity solutions as a digital…

Mobile Strong Customer Authentication under PSD2: Comparisons and Considerations

The new PSD2 regulations will bring about major changes to the digital security landscape. Among the most significant of these will be the requirement to use strong customer authentication (SCA) in remote payment transactions. Additionally, SCA on mobile devices will be required to make use of a secure execution environment (SEE). This paper from CAPS…

The Value of Digital ID for the Global Economy and Society

“Good” use of digital identification is a new frontier in value creation for individuals, companies, and countries. A panel of leading voices discuss how to unlock the benefits, while mitigating the risks. On 23 January 2019, global experts from business, government, and the social sector discussed how digital identification can provide both economic and societal…

G20 Digital Identity Onboarding

The G20 recognizes the key role of financial inclusion in supporting the move towards an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy.21 The World Bank Group was requested by its G20 partners under the 2018 Argentine presidency, to produce this report as part of the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) forum- an inclusive platform…

Introduction to Self-Sovereign Identity and Its 10 Guiding Principles

There is no consensus on an exact definition of self-sovereign identity yet. This paper uses the terminology of SSI, as the concept of individuals or organizations having sole ownership of their digital and analog identities, and control over how their personal data is shared and used. This adds a layer of security and flexibility allowing the…

Digital Identity Road Map Guide

The Digital Identity Roadmap Guide is a comprehensive guideline useful for identifying the main aspects that need to be addressed during the design, development, and implementation of a National Digital Identity Framework. It is the result of a deeply collaborative and thorough multi-stakeholder effort aimed at strengthening the knowledge and the expertise of the audience…

The difference Between Digital Identity, Identification, and ID

We use the terms Digital Identity, Digital Identification and Digital ID day in and day out, but what exactly do they mean? This post from Caribou Digital helps us distinguish which of these is a process, which of these is a thing and  which one is a relative social coordinate.

Private Sector Digital Identity in Emerging Markets

Identity has always been a complicated subject, as we are seen to have multiple facets to our identities. With the digital age, this complexity and importance has increased. This paper by Caribou Digital and Omidyar Network explores the role of digital identity, the technology and business models within emerging markets, and discusses three scenarios for private-sector entry.

Global ID Coverage, Barriers, and Use by the Numbers: Insights from the ID4D-Findex Survey

Trusted and inclusive identification (ID) systems can serve as a powerful tool for development, accelerating progress in number of areas, such as women’s empowerment and gender equality, financial inclusion, and health. Moreover, “legal identity for all, including birth registration” is one of the 169 targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and ID and civil…

Roadmap for Digital Birth Registration: Identity for Every Child through the Power of Mobile

This 6-page document provides an overview of the Roadmap for Digital Birth Registration. It is a guide for MNOs and their partners who are seeking opportunities to achieve greater impact, efficiency and efficacy in digital birth registration.

6 Things You May Not Know About Biometrics

Biometrics hold significant promise and are likely the future of identification and identity verification. However, as noted in a previous blog post, “The Biometric Balancing Act in Digital Finance,” biometrics are a complex and evolving family of technologies. It is important that we understand their strengths, limitations and appropriate applications if we are going to…

Roadmap for Digital Birth Registration: Insights on Scale and Sustainability from Pakistan

This Roadmap for Digital Birth Registration is a guide for MNOs and their partners who are seeking opportunities to achieve greater impact, efficiency and efficacy in digital birth registration. Drawing on lessons from, and our recommendations for, the Telenor-supported DBR project in Pakistan, this Roadmap provides a number of insights, examples of good practice, and…

Digital Identity for Smallholder Farmers: Insights from Sri Lanka

This report highlights key findings from the Digital Identity programme’s qualitative research in Sri Lanka, which was designed to help improve the mobile industry’s understanding of farmers’ identity-related needs and pain points, as well as their attitudes and perceptions towards digital identity.

Biometrics and financial inclusion: A roadmap for implementing biometric identity systems in sub-Saharan Africa

The World Bank (2017) estimates that 1.1 billion people live without proof of identity. Nearly 50% of these people live in sub-Saharan Africa, where 454 million individuals are excluded from formal identify systems. In Nigeria,  78% of the population or 149 million individuals cannot prove their identity. Lack of identity documentation varies in its severity as a…

Identities Report

This study, draws on interviews with 150 diverse individuals and dozens of professional stakeholders throughout India, to explore the complexity of identity practices in everyday life. It is a critical moment for conversations like these, since new digital systems, such as India’s Aadhaar, expand formal identity credentials to previously underserved communities, and into everyday identity practices in new ways. The report suggests the need for…

Digital Identity Guidelines

These guidelines provide technical requirements for federal agencies implementing digital identity services and are not intended to constrain the development or use of standards outside of this purpose. The guidelines cover identity proofing and authentication of users (such as employees, contractors, or private individuals) interacting with government IT systems over open networks. They define technical…

Digital Identity: The Essential Guide

This guide produced by ID4Africa gives an overview of the importance of digital identity as well as recommendations for developing and implementing a digital ID scheme, and to ensure its success. The guide also illustrates the impact or potential impact of digital ID and its role in financial inclusion and growth of the economy. You…

Digital Identity Interoperability and eInnovation

This case study addresses the issue of Digital ID interoperability, specifically in the internet context. It covers experiences in creating Digital ID interoperability to date, some of the forces that drive or inhibit the emergence of interoperability in Digital ID, the benefits and drawbacks of Digital ID interoperability as they relate to innovation, and  some…

The Application of Digital Identity in the United States

Identity theft affected nearly 18 million people in the United States in 2014 and resulted in billions of dollars of financial losses and other hardships for individuals, the government and businesses. With the increased prevalence of online financial transactions and other business interactions, there has not been a corresponding widespread adoption of a universally trusted…

Portable Identity

This paper on Portable Identity explores the concept, pros and cons. Portable Identity is the right and responsibility of each of us to create, control, and carry the important pieces of information that define who we are in a private, secure, and trusted manner. Other individuals, entities or authorities may validate (or “attest to”) various…

Innovations in Mobile Birth Registration: Insights from Tigo Tanzania and Telenor Pakistan

The ability to prove one’s identity is essential to securing a number of life-enhancing services such as healthcare, education, financial services, connectivity and social protections. However, at least 1.5 billion people still lack an official form of identification and in many countries, this problem disproportionately affects the most vulnerable segments of society such as the…

Digital Identity: Towards Shared Principles for Public and Private Sector Cooperation

The ability to prove one’s identity is increasingly recognized as the basis for participation in social, political economic and cultural life. Yet at least a billion people in developing countries lack any form of officially recognized ID. This problem disproportionally impacts rural residents, poor people, women, children and other vulnerable groups in Africa and Asia.…

The Role of Identification in the post 2015 Development Agenda

The post-2015 development agenda is being shaped as we speak. The role of identity and identification and its importance to development outcomes places it within the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda—specifically as one of the proposed SDG targets (#16.9), but also as a key enabler of the efficacy of many other SDG targets. Although…

Minding the Identity Gaps

This paper by David Porteous and Ignacio Mas highlights that we should not get caught up in the idea that digital identity is fundamentally—or even primarily—about your full name and a legal ID number. Your digital identity is clearly about you, but it is less clear exactly what about you it is meant to represent.…

Identification for Development: The Biometrics Revolution

This paper by Centre for Global Development surveys 160 cases where biometric identification has been used for economic, political, and social purposes in developing countries. About half of these cases have been supported by donors. Recognizing the need for more rigorous assessments and more open data on performance, the paper draws some conclusions about identification…