The Appropriate Use of Digital Identity

As governments across the globe implement new, foundational, digital identification systems (“Digital ID”), or modernize existing ID programs, there is dire need for greater research and discussion about appropriate uses of Digital ID systems. This significant momentum for creating Digital ID in several parts of the world has been accompanied with concerns about the privacy and exclusion harms of a state issued Digital ID system, resulting in campaigns and litigations in countries such as UK, India, Kenya, and Jamaica. Given the very large range of considerations required to evaluate Digital ID projects, it is necessary to think of evaluation frameworks that can be used for this purpose.

At RightsCon 2019 in Tunis, we presented working drafts on appropriate use of Digital ID by the partner organisations of this three-region research alliance - ITS from Brazil, CIPIT from Kenya, and CIS from India.

In the draft by CIS, we propose a set of principles against which Digital ID may be evaluated. We hope that these draft principles can evolve into a set of best practices that can be used by policymakers when they create and implement Digital ID systems, provide guidance to civil society examinations of Digital ID and highlight questions for further research on the subject. We have drawn from approaches used in documents such as the necessary and proportionate principles, the OECD privacy guidelines and scholarship on harms based approach.

Read and comment on CIS’s Draft framework here.

Download Working drafts by CIPIT, CIS, and ITS here.

 

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