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Digital Identity: 5 Reasons The Industry Will Change Forever

The latest industry news, interviews, technologies, and resources.
Aug 31, 2020
5 min read

According to McKinsey:

  • 110 billion hours could be potentially saved through streamlined e-government services, including social protection, enabled by digital ID.

In a different report by McKinsey, these digital identity stats come to light: 

  • In Estonia, over 30% of individuals vote online, of whom 20% say they would not vote at a physical polling place.
  • In 2030, digital ID has the potential to create economic value equivalent to 6% of GDP in emerging economies on a per-country basis and 3% in mature economies, assuming high levels of adoption.
  • The state of adoption of digital ID is mixed, indicating room for improvement and growth. Forty or more national or non-national digital identity programs exist today.

These stats reveal a few important things about the future of digital identity verification:

  • It has untapped potential
  • Its value to the private and public sector is unquestionable 
  • It’s something that will continue to develop over the coming years

Today, we will investigate 6 trends that will drive digital identity in the years to come. 

Digital Identity Reason #1: Mobile-First Solutions

52% of global internet traffic is mobile. (Statista)

The way we consume the Internet is officially, more than 50% mobile. This is a trend that won’t decelerate any time soon. 

Tech giants such as Google frequently drop hints about the growing adoption and potential of mobile usage. 

This reality is something that will directly affect digital identity solutions moving forward. 

Much like responsive web design has been integral for the digital viability of businesses, adapting, adjusting and streamlining identity solutions for mobile, will be key.

Digital Identity Reason #2: Security, Security, Security

Securing personal data and information has been one of the hottest topics across the globe for the past two years. 

These are the events that have brought security at the forefront of the tech world:

  • Cambridge Analytica scandal - Facebook’s biggest mishap to date saw millions of user profiles collected without consent by Cambridge Analytica for political advertising. 
  • Canva - Graphic design tool Canva endured a cyber-attack that exposed email addresses, usernames, names and cities of residence of their clientbase. 
  • Sina Weibo - China’s version of Twitter suffered one of the most notable data breaches to date. The real names, site usernames, gender, location, and phone numbers of 172 million users were auctioned for sale on the dark web.

The General Data Protection Regulation of May 2018 (GDPR) for the European Member States is a great sign of where things are headed. 

The GDPR’s main goal aims to give EU citizens more control over their own personal data, improving their security both online and offline.

The past couple of years have seen a global turn towards legislation that will secure digital  identity and it’s a trend that will continue picking up steam. 

Digital Identity Reason #3: Smart Cities

It started with the smartphone - a device that gives us access to digital versions of our finances, entertainment and communication.

It continued with smart houses - a house that obeys the smartphone and allows us control over the TV, heating, water temperature, music and so many other amenities. 

Now, the next step to this digital evolution is the smart city - an urban area that through the use of the internet can automate services and resources that previously needed manual involvement. 

How does digital identity feed into that? It’s the key that unlocks the smart city. 

Digital identity in conjunction with e-government can unlock the true potential of cities, making it possible to achieve a more luxurious and seamless way of living. Here are two examples:

Example #1: Healthcare

We are turning to healthcare for an example as it is something everyone can relate to and it can shed some light on the meaningful impact of digital identity to society.

Imagine a world where medical practitioners can access detailed medical records whenever they need them, while patients can be tracked in the comfort of their own home and supplied the right medication at the right time. 

Healthcare is by nature a very admin-heavy sector and the introduction of a digital identity can surpass the admin hurdles and create a simpler path to healthcare services. 

Example #2: Parking

This might seem as something trivial, but it's more of an example showcasing the potential of digital identity rather than the actual parking solution. 

Picture a scenario where you park in dedicated parking spots and your bank account is automatically debited with the parking fee. No parking ticket, no machine, no manual labour. 

Digital Identity Reason #4: Public Authorities Assume Responsibility

Digital identity exists as a product or a service in the private sector but the truth of the matter is that in order to become a legitimate idea, governments need to be actively involved. 

Here’s an example of what authorities can do. The European Union’s eIDAS Implementing Regulation (2015/1501) established that the minimum data set of unique identity attributes for a natural (i.e. a physical) person: 

  • Current family name(s) 
  • Current first name(s)
  • Date of birth
  • A unique identifier which is as persistent as possible in time 
  • Place of birth
  • Current address
  • Gender

This is merely an example of what is expected of the government. In order to create a viable  digital identity ecosystem with strong privacy and security safeguards, it is necessary to have: 

  • Statutory regulation that will clearly define the reasons for the processing of personal data.
  • Enhanced security requirements and sanctions for data breaches and security incidents in general.
  • Protocols and standards that empower government bodies to oversee procedures and incidents of data breaches. 

Government and international governing bodies need to be fully immersed in the definition, application and management of the digital identification process if this is going to flourish. 

Digital Identity Reason #5: Millennials Will Drive The Change

The millennial generation is disrupting the digital identity field and is considered to be the main driver behind this change. 

The IBM Security : Future of Identity Study surveyed nearly 4,000 adults from across the U.S., Asia Pacific (APAC) and Europe and the findings are eye-opening: 

The study showed that while 75% of millennials are at ease with using biometrics today, less than half are using complex passwords, and 41% reuse passwords. 

Millennials are trending to become the largest generation in today’s workforce. Their input and preferences regarding digital identity will directly impact the way technology companies develop their products and services. 

Takeaways

The industry is changing in the near future and we’ve compiled the reasons this change will come about: 

  • Mobile-First Solutions
  • Security
  • Smart Cities
  • Public Authority Involvement
  • Millennials 

Our team here at Identomat is always open and available to discuss the possible impact these changes might have on your business and bottomline. More importantly, our team is equipped with both the knowledge and the experience to advise you about the most suitable course of action.  

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