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Digital Government 3.0 – Citizen Identity in the Era of the Web 3.0 Economy

Governments across the world are implementing digital identity metasystems that facilitate the core login functions and enable interoperation between online applications.

A keystone foundation for Digital Government is Identity.

Digital IDs provide a single method to confirm an individual’s identity online, and allow individuals to share information about their identity—such as age or nationality—during a transaction.

Governments across the world are implementing digital identity metasystems that facilitate the core login functions and enable interoperation between online applications.

Examples include the UK Government’s identity scheme, the ‘DIATF‘ – Digital Identity and Attributes Framework, which enables and implements ‘One Login for Government‘.

This guide explains the details and history of the program, as does this extensive documentation. GOV.UK One Login’s predecessor, GOV.UK Verify, was retired in December 2022.

More than 40 ‘identity service providers’ have already been certified against the DIATF including Digidentity, OneID®, Yoti, Mastercard and Onfido, and the UK government has issued more than 1.5 million verified identities, with more than 815,000 people now having GOV.UK One Login accounts.

Eight agencies are now using the platform, such as the Disclosure and Barring Service, Department for Business and Trade, HM Revenue and Customs, HM Land Registry and Social Work England, with driving licences and passports used for identity checking.

Web 3.0 Decentralized Identity

This capability sets the scene for the evolution of digital identity and how it will enable the Web 3.0 economy, and the role governments can play within it. Key innovations include Decentralized and ‘Self Sovereign Identity’.

VentureBeat examines the role that Digital Identity will play in developing the Web 3.0 economy, exploring example scenarios of Web 3.0 digital business models and the different permutations of Identity architecture that may evolve to facilitate them.

Dock provides this very helpful introductory primer, Web 3 Identity Beginners Guide, where they define the core tenets of to be:

  • Users can control their own data and information and they are not reliant on centralized institutions such as governments or corporations.
  • Built on the principles of privacy, security, and freedom.
  • Users can create digital identities that are linked to their real-world identities or choose to remain anonymous.

Bain documents a detailed analysis of the landscape: Web3 Could Rewrite the Rules of User Identity, summarizing the trend and how organizations like JPMorgan, Nike, Google, and Disney are pioneering it’s future.

Writing for TechUK Wiggin’s Kristian Hall and Marcus Bagnall propose that the UK could lead this field of innovation.

They describe how NFT verification would work by associating crucial identity information with digital tokens, thereby providing users with a trustworthy and tamper-proof representation of their online identity, and blockchain smart contracts could ensure secure, autonomous data sharing.

Public sector pioneers include The Kingdom of Bhutan. In this talk they share how Bhutan has launched world’s first Self-Sovereign National Identity platform, based on SSI and portable digital credentials for all citizens, businesses, foreign workers and tourists.

Entra for Government

Microsoft’s core identity product is the Entra suite, which encapsulates and builds upon their Active Directory foundation and extends it further into a new world of Cloud and Decentralized Identity.

For citizen access to online government systems Entra facilitates a web application strategy that enables customers to use their preferred social, enterprise, or local account identities to get single sign-on access to your applications and APIs.

The building block of this process is ‘Verified Credentials’, and in this article the Oxford Computer Group describes the basic mechanics, where a government agency issues an official government ID, such as passports and driver’s licenses, certifying the document attesting to its authenticity, and the citizen, as the Credential Holder, can present it at a later time to a requesting agency.

Another government agency, as the Verifier, providing services to the citizen, can now trust that the presented credential is authentic.

Featured Partner: Idemia

An example of a partner building on Entra is Idemia, who have integrated with Entra, to provide liveness and document verification technology for Microsoft Entra Verified ID.

Selfie and document capture using a smartphone allows users to create a trusted identity that they can store as a digital credential in the Microsoft Authenticator app and subsequently use for authentication in a variety of contexts, such as secure access to sensitive data and account enrollment and recovery.

The company provides public sector Identity solutions such as automated passenger gates for foreigners arriving at Singapore’s Changi airport.

“Entra Verified ID’s Face Check compares a user’s real-time facial image against a signed and trusted image embedded into a digital credential held by the user based on their government issued ID or credentials issued by an employer,” says Ankur Patel, head of product for Entra Verified ID. “We are pleased to partner with Idemia as one of the leading identity verification providers, so organizations can ensure only the correct person has access to apps and devices.”

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