A Privacy Protective ‘Proportionate ID Digital Wallet’ for Canadians

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University of Toronto




The Proportionate ID Digital Wallet (‘Prop ID’) project seeks to develop privacy protective alternatives to the conventional modes of everyday transaction authentication using ID cards.

Typically these raise privacy issues due to the excessive disclosure of personal information. The principal goals have been to help educate people to the risks of digital forms of ID, make organizations more accountable for their identification practices, and demonstrate the possibilities of a minimally disclosing credential approach.

The researchers have pursued these goals through a series of participatory design workshops with prospective digital ID users to develop, test and iteratively refine prototypes of privacy protective ID devices.

The main results include:

  1. Physical ID card overlays that protect personal information not needed for particular ID transactions
  2. Prototype of a digital ID wallet based on the Android smartphone that similarly protects personal information and illustrates the principles of minimally disclosing credentials

The results are publicly available on the project website, which is oriented to a general audience and invites feedback. (http://propid.ischool.utoronto.ca/)

Two Youtube videos show the development and use of privacy protective ID card overlays and digital ID wallet. (www.youtube.com/user/propiduoft)

The researchers have demonstrated the basic technical and interactional viability of a minimally disclosing approach to ID authentication for in-person transactions using a smartphone. The researchers hope that this can provide some counter-weight to the rapidly growing use of smartphones for transactions, as the use of smartphones in this way is much more privacy-invasive than conventional ID card use.

This document is available in the following language(s):

English only

OPC Funded Project

This project received funding support through the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Contributions Program. The opinions expressed in the summary and report(s) are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Summaries have been provided by the project authors. Please note that the projects appear in their language of origin.

Contact Information

Email: inquire.ischool@utoronto.ca
Website: www.ischool.utoronto.ca/
Tel: 416-978-3234
Fax: 416-978-5762

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