The Digital ID & Authentication Council of Canada (“DIACC”) today announced the launch of the Pan-Canadian Trust FrameworkTM (“PCTF”), a set of digital ID and authentication industry standards that will define how digital ID will roll out across Canada.
Its launch marks the shift from the framework’s development into official operation and will begin alpha testing by public and private sector members in Canada. The alpha testing will inform the launch of DIACC’s PCTF Voila Verified Trustmark Assurance Program (“Voila Verified”), set to launch next year.
“The pandemic has pushed digital adoption five years into the future. Without the proper infrastructure for digital ID and authentication in place, we’ve seen firsthand how Canadians have been left vulnerable and with limited access to essential services” said Eros Spodotto, Executive Vice-President, Technology Strategy and Business Transformation at TELUS.
“Trust and security are the foundations of the digital economy. The key to unlocking a true digital experience comes from having a digital ID ecosystem that extends beyond any one sector.”
- Franklin Garrigues, VP Digital Channels at TD Bank, and DIACC Board Vice-Chair
From open banking to e-health, digital ID is a key enabler in unlocking the next frontier of our digital economy. Banks and telcos fortunately have been able to leverage existing digital ID services to support Canadians. “Digital identity verification has helped countless Canadians receive financial aid during the pandemic,” notes Andre Boysen, Chief Identity Officer at SecureKey, “but it’s not enough. Now, we need to leverage that momentum, and push out a solution for digital ID in all levels of society. The PCTF is that answer.”
“The PCTF launch marks an important milestone in Canada’s digital transformation initiatives,” exclaims Dave Nikolejsin, Board Chair at DIACC, “Canadians have had to deal with identity theft and fraud, high anxiety in accessing services that they were in dire need of while facing social distancing measures, and attempting to go about their lives as normally as possible. Digital ID minimizes all of those pain points, and elevates the livelihoods of Canadians everywhere.” Joni Brennan, President of DIACC, adds, “Our economy has also been heavily impacted by all this, and we know digital identity has the potential to add at least 3 percent of GDP, which is potentially almost $100 billion back into our Canadian economy. This is why we’ve accelerated the launch of the PCTF. The time for digital ID is now.”
“The Digital ID Laboratory of Canada is a proud partner of the DIACC, with a strong community that is ready to support the launch of the PCTF and ensure that together, we can accelerate the adoption of user-centric and interoperable digital ID solutions across the country.”
- Pierre Roberge, General Manager of the Digital ID Laboratory of Canada
Alpha testing of the PCTF will be carried out by over 20 Canadian public and private sector DIACC member organizations during the next two quarters with the purpose of operationalizing the framework as fast as possible. Organizations that have volunteered to take part in the alpha test seek to gain strategic and operational insights to become demonstrated leaders in digital identity.
Learnings taken from the alpha testing will help DIACC identify what is needed to scale up a digital identity infrastructure across Canada, and help Canada secure international digital interoperability and accreditation by working with international and third party partners such as eIDAS and Kantara Initiative IAF.
A Digital ID Trademark You Can Trust
The alpha testing will also inform the launch of the DIACC PCTF Voila Verified Trustmark Assurance Program (“Voila Verified”). The program is set to launch in fall 2021, and will issue a PCTF Voila Verified Trustmark to organizations who demonstrate compliance with PCTF components. Voila Verified will enable solutions and service providers to leverage the trustmark to elevate their market leadership and allow them to collaborate securely with assurance, providing their customers with the digital-first experience that they demand.
“We’re pleased to work with the DIACC to help recognize the Voila Verified Program on an international scale. It is through secure global credentials that we can transform the state of digital identity, and progress the digital economy worldwide.”
- Colin Wallis, Executive Director of Kantara Initiative
Multijurisdictional Collaboration: Enabling Trusted Digital Inclusion for All
The launch of the PCTF comes at a time when having a strong digital economy is no longer a ‘nice-to have’; rather, it is imperative for Canadians. More than 70 per cent of Canadians want to see the government and private sector collaborate on a joint identity framework in Canada. “We’ve seen the benefits and advantages of digital ID for people in British Columbia during this pandemic,”, said CJ Ritchie, Associate Deputy Minister and Government Chief Information Officer for the Province of British Columbia, “From government to healthcare, commerce, and financial services, the entire provincial economy is being impacted by COVID-19. Having a robust digital identity/trust ecosystem allows all Canadians to do more online, in a safer, more secure and confident way.”
The PCTF was developed collaboratively between public and private sector stakeholders, with contributions from a broad array of individuals and organizations around the world. Over 3,400 public comments were provided over four years that helped progress the framework to its launch today.
“The framework released today was created through an incredible collaboration involving hundreds of people who worked to contribute, comment, and lend their ideas,” noted Peter Watkins, Program Executive for the Pan-Canadian Digital ID at the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service, “we’re committed to continuing our multi-jurisdictional collaboration as we move into the next stages for this important work.”