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Benefits of digital ID ecosystem will be realized only with adequate privacy protections, say data protection authorities

October 24, 2022

Commissioner Dufresne with his provincial and territorial counterparts at a meeting in St. John’s N.L. last September.

Privacy guardians across Canada are calling on their respective governments and relevant stakeholders to ensure that the right to privacy and transparency are fully respected throughout the design, operation and ongoing evolution of a digital identity ecosystem.

In a resolution issued today, federal, provincial and territorial privacy regulators note that the digital identity ecosystem emerging in Canada and around the world will allow individuals, businesses and governments to confirm identities and carry out transactions online with a high degree of efficiency and confidence.

However, while a secure digital identity offers many benefits, it must be designed and implemented in a manner that upholds privacy, security, transparency and accountability to be trusted enough to be widely adopted.   

“The development and implementation of a digital ID ecosystem is a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate how innovation and privacy protection can coexist,” Privacy Commissioner of Canada Philippe Dufresne says.

“By identifying, understanding and mitigating privacy concerns at the outset, governments and stakeholders will engender trust among Canadians and show their commitment to privacy as a fundamental right.”

Initially struck during a meeting in St. John’s N.L., in September between Commissioner Dufresne and his provincial and territorial counterparts, the resolution sets out a non-exhaustive list of elements to include in the design and operation of a digital identity ecosystem.

See the resolution for further details.

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