DIGITAL IDENTITY FOR DIGITAL GOVERNMENTS

DIGITAL IDENTITY FOR DIGITAL GOVERNMENTS


How to get governments to consider digitizing processes and accelerating their digital transformation processes, not only through the implementation of new systems and processes but by starting by investing in initiatives and incentives that promote the digital identity of their member citizens?

In times of pandemics, digital transformation and governments trying to implement digital initiatives that improve their arrival to citizens to improve government services and citizens’ access to government services, it is necessary to talk about the development of digital trust and trust in relationships is the value on which any modern society is based. Having said that, I will then proceed to indicate that the official identity of the citizens is the cornerstone of that trust. There is a direct correlation between this trust (analogue in transition to digital)  and the main democratic values, as well as between these values and national GDP and our way of life. The improvement of a percentage point in the ranking that scores the democratic values developed by The Economist has a 13.6% positive impact on our lives: $13,286 in the increase in per capita income; 2.6 years improvement in life expectancy and 2 positive points in the Inequality Coefficient.[1]

In the last decade, technology has become the principal value-generating industry, far surpassing the best as is the energy industry.

The digital wave is being greatly underestimated by Europe; the region is the world’s second largest economy, accounting for 20% of the total value generated, but with a representation of only 4% in the technology industry. The speed of transformation and concentration of the economy are growing: 56% of the major companies per valuation are technological.[2]

Trust in relationships is the value on which any modern society is based. The official identity of citizens is the cornerstone of this trust and it is precisely in the development of this digital trust that governments must focus on in order to carry out future initiatives aimed at the consolidation of digital governments.

More than half of the world’s population lives today without an official identity. These populations belong precisely to the countries with the lowest per capita income, human development index, higher inequality and lower life expectancy. It’s not a fluke.

In developed regions such as Europe[3], identity is the essential element that enables relations between citizens and between citizens and the Government and the Institutions. At the same time, it offers legal certainty and trust that make business privately possible. Identity has been instrumental in building our current way of life and the democratic values that sustain our welfare state, which as solidarity citizens and aware of the current context, seek to expand globally to promote true international cooperation not only at European level.

Our lifestyle is based on this trust that an official identity offers. Let us think for a moment of actions that we usually carry out: bank transfers, a payment of rent of housing, travel, visa,  among many others that few governments and companies in the private sector – even in mutual collaboration – have digitized 100% and that I believe can and must be digitized and for all these an act of identification is required.

There is a direct correlation between this trust and the main democratic values and, moreover, a directly proportional relationship of these democratic values with national GDP and our way of life: the middle The Economist draws up an annual ranking that analyses democracy in 167 states around the world, scoring and ranking them in categories ranging from full democracy to authoritarian rule. It bases its score on objective criteria of democratic values, such as: pluralism and electoral process, civil liberties, government functioning, participation and political culture.[4]

 

Let’s talk about digital identity then

Digital Identity[5] is the electronic equivalent of the analog official identity, the main instrument of which corresponds to the physical identity documents issued and managed by governments. Digital Identity is composed of the characteristics (identifiers and attributes) of the person who provides it with a unique nature among the population or in a particular context and is recognized by States for a regulatory purpose or other official purposes. This concept has already been recognized and developed in Europe by the eIDAS Regulation (910/2014), in force since July 2016.[6]

The eIDAS allows citizens – regardless of the work to which they are dedicated – to be able to use so-called electronic trust services, through a digital document, such as electronic certificates of companies. This Digital Identity allows electronic relationships of trust between citizens, companies, and governments when it comes to identifying and legally demonstrating the will in agreements and contracts.

In my particular opinion this new Digital Identity will complement for a time the analog identity to be used in the digital channel  but, eventually, could replace it completely thanks to the easy use of the Digital Identity on any channel, provided that the necessary security and technological procedures are followed.

Digital Identity will help citizens to access better services and that any process with governments and private companies is carried out efficiently and effectively with “few clicks”. All this within channels and areas that have the necessary technology toar ensure legitimacy, security and legality.

Digital Identity is an essential tool to be able to introduce mechanisms of citizen participation at all levels. All to serve the real interests of the citizenry and promote the productive economy of Spain.

The role of government and participation is essential in the evolution of democratic values and the main impact difference between full democracies and authoritarian regimes.

After all the shared ideas about digital identity and digital governments; I leave you with this question to reflect… believe that it is possible to generate a single digital identification document that will help us to access all the services and procedures that we must perform?

 

[1]Democracy Index, The Economist Intelligence Unit.

[2] Digital Economy Report 2019, Value Creation and Capture: implications for developing countries, United Nations.

[3] White Paper Onboarding Digital, Fintech Ibero-America, September 2019.

[4] https://www.eiu.com/topic/democracy-index

[5] Digital identification: A key to inclusive growth, april 2019.

[6] eIDAS – ultimate version