Mind the Digital Identity gap

The world is on a digital transformation journey as we move towards a digitally inclusive society.

In today’s world, identity is no longer confined to physical identification documents. While traditional ID documents like passports and driver’s licenses are still widely used, they can be easily forged or obtained illegally, leading to identity theft and other fraudulent activities. To address this issue, governments and organisations are turning to secure digital identities that provide a more reliable and tamper-proof way of verifying a person’s identity.

Secure digital identity is built upon validated digital information, including a person’s social security number, name, place and date of birth, and biometric data such as fingerprints or facial recognition. These elements are defined by government standards and connect a person’s physical and digital identity, making it easier to verify their identity across multiple platforms.

The use of digital identity offers numerous benefits, including increased security, convenience, and efficiency. For example, individuals can use their digital identity to access various services and applications online without physically presenting their ID documents. This can save time and reduce the risk of fraud. Digital identities can securely store and share personal information, providing greater control over one’s data privacy.

Despite these advantages, adopting digital identity is still in its early stages, and many challenges remain. One of the biggest obstacles is the lack of universal standards for digital identity verification, which can lead to interoperability issues between different platforms and services. There are also concerns about data privacy and security, particularly regarding collecting and storing sensitive biometric data.

While physical identification documents are still familiar, secure digital identities offer a more reliable and convenient way of verifying one’s identity. As governments and organisations continue to invest in digital identity solutions, it is essential to address the challenges and ensure they are accessible, secure, and reliable for everyone.

Connecting the developing world

A billion people worldwide have no formal way of proving who they are. Close to half of them live in Sub-Saharan Africa. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 16.9 calls for a secure, legal identity for all by 2030. The World Bank ID4D initiative supports this and built principles on identification for sustainable development based on existing international norms.

To meet the goal, a secure infrastructure is vital. The African continent has embraced the use of biometric verification and authentication solutions. Digital identity plays a foundational role in our growing digital economy. In emerging economies, it is found that a digital ID could unlock up to 50-70 per cent of the full economic potential.

Secure digital identity for all

At Laxton, we aim to enable a secure digital identity for all. Our reliable identity management solutions create a digital identity for people around the world. It allows these previously marginalised citizens to access fundamental services like government support, healthcare, elections, education and mobile connectivity and equal opportunities to participate in their local economies.

We have developed a Central Biometric Record Management System (CRMS) and Data Collection Centre to create an identity solution for the people of Malawi. Nine million citizens received a National ID Card for the first time. For us, this is one step closer to a world where everyone has access to digital identity.