Digital Identity Laboratory of Canada Closes Grants - Identity Review - Identity Review | Global Tech Think Tank

As the world becomes increasingly globalized, governments across the globe have begun the journey of adopting digital identity solutions to better support their growing economy, increase cybersecurity, and develop a more scalable infrastructure for the identification of their citizens. Canada, in particular, has been a world leader in promoting the implementation of digital identity measures on a widespread level.

Through institutions such as the Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC), key decision makers across the public and private sectors have come togetherto establish a Canadian framework and digital ecosystem for digital identification and authentication. More specifically, the DIACC has developed three main initiatives thus far—the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework, the Directory of Products That Assess Identification Documents & Verify Identity, and the COVID-19 Actions Directory, the latter two having been developed in the past five months.

The Digital ID Lab of Canada

This past July, Digital Identity Laboratory of Canada announced their successful closure of several public and private grants, including awards from the City of Gatineau, the Quebec government, Converge Technology Solutions, Equitable Bank and Sagard Holdings. For an independent and non-profit Canadian organization that aims to accelerate the adoption of user-centric digital identity solutions through the promotion of interoperability and technical conformity, these contributions mark an important step forward for The Lab towards their $1 million seed funding goals.

The Lab offers three main categories of services for its members. The first offering is testing and certification, which allows digital identity solution suppliers to verify their solution’s compliance with various governance frameworks. This works in tandem with their second offering, the sponsoring of a sandbox to securely host a reference implementation of a supplier’s solution to be showcased for public discovery. The third offering is referred to as the “lab subscription,” which allows organizations to request and configure their own personalized sandboxes for secure, private testing of their solution’s quality, engendering, and integration.

Pierre Roberge, founder and general manager of the Digital ID Lab, explains, “The lab [is like a] digital Switzerland, a neutral land where different suppliers and consumers of that technology can come in, in a privacy-respecting, secure environment, and see what’s available and be able to discover what’s available and be able to consume what’s available.”

The Digital ID Lab’s positioning as a neutral organization providing a secure environment to accelerate and promote the implementation and research of digital identity solutions has led to their wide variety of grant providers.

According to Eric Caire, Quebec’s minister for government digital transformation, the government of Quebec funded the lab in an effort to build the Pan-Canadian digital ID roadmap. “To foster the emergence of the economy of tomorrow, the digital identity should be secure, user-friendly and interoperable. Thus, any solution must be checked and tested in sandboxes. This laboratory is part of this philosophy by allowing various partners to use controlled environments for testing.”

The CEO and President of Equitable Bank, Andrew Moor, expressed the importance of using digital identity to increase security in and further transform the digital banking sector. “We are strong advocates of the benefits of open banking and believe that open banking, digital identity, and payments modernization need to come together to enable a modern banking system that better serves Canadians. We are proud to support the advancement of Canadian digital identity solutions in a neutral, interoperable, and compliant way.”

Evidently, the need for innovation in the digital identity space across various industries has never been more clear, and the Digital Identity Lab of Canada is only just beginning their journey.

“Until we solve digital identity, true digital transformation, end to end, is not possible, where we always kick back into an analogue process. We’re on a discovery mission. We’re discovering new lands. And so, this idea around innovation, around creative thinking, problem-solving, making sure we don’t leave anybody behind, is all part of that.”

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