MyVoice and iDenfy’s Collaboration: Democracy in the Age of Digital ID - Identity Review - Identity Review | Global Tech Think Tank

MyVoice, a platform where Latvian citizens can freely submit ideas for legislative initiatives, is evolving; from a simple website that required identity verification from Latvia’s iBanks to a digital verification method implemented through iDenfy, MyVoice has expanded both its reach and contribution to democracy.

Loud Voices

FreedomHouse regards Latvia’s democracy as both free and fair, imparting the former Soviet country a freedom score of 89/100. And although corruption, no less, remains a large issue in Latvia’s criminal justice system and beyond, the current government is taking strides to mitigate it. MyVoice’s expansion is merely a part of it, alongside banking.

“The partnership with iDenfy enhances the effectiveness of MyVoice and scales it cross-borders,” says Imants Breidaks, MyVoice CEO. “We hope that this precedent will encourage the development of digital participation in policy-making processes internationally.”

Since its implementation in 2011, residents have used MyVoice’s platform to propose 62 initiatives. The submission’s requirements are simple: it must be legal, within reason material-wise and provide a clear plan of action as a solution. 36 of those proposals were passed into law upon more legislative review, and two more initiatives, one dealing with traffic violations and the other about hepatitis-C treatment, are currently under review by the Latvian parliament.

Identifying iDenfy

Touting a lofty roster with the likes of PanPay, TalentClouds and DSBC Financial, iDentify’s biometric technology is enlisted by companies to verify customer identities. Because MyVoice must ensure that its only users are Latvian citizens, and to give those citizens the most efficient process as they seek financial assistance or a government service, MyVoice saw iDenfy’s facial and document recognition technology as a must. The technology can even verify citizens who do not have access to the country’s digital identification infrastructure.

“We’re confident that our identity verification solution will make it way easier to persuade the general public to promote their initiatives in the national parliament of Latvia,” said iDenfy CEO, Domantas Ciulde. “Our powerful remote identity verification solution will enable this nonprofit public NGO to verify and authorize legitimate Latvians scattered across the globe who want to be part of this initiative.”

A Greater Democracy

Historically, Latvian citizens had one of the lowest levels of civic engagement and trust in their government in the EU. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the privatization of Latvia’s economy, the former republic and its politics were mainly controlled by a few business tycoons. MyVoice is not only a shift from that form of government but represents another of Latvia’s forays into digital identity, alongside its eID program.

IDenfy’s collaboration with a civic organization intended to augment civilian interaction with a government is the first of its kind. With a platform built for the user, tracking abilities, crowdsource initiatives at your fingertips and 100% legitimacy, it not only streamlines the legislative recommendation process but also connects the Latvian community under a singular, important goal: working on their democracy.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Olivia Baker is a Tech Innovation Fellow at Identity Review from Columbia University, where she writes on tech policy and national digital identity technologies.

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