Emerging technologies make the world a better place every day, hence we cannot choose to neglect emerging technologies in identity management. Before now, people were not so aware of how their identities could impact the way things work, like for financial transactions and access to fundamental rights within the society. Today, people are more conscious of the power of their identities and therefore always look out for better technologies that can protect their interest and still ensure that service is received when required.
We cannot discuss trends in identity management today without referencing the expert meeting on identity management held in the Netherlands in 2015, where delegates from the UN exchanged knowledge and experience while exploring directions for identity management in the coming 15 years. In that meeting, ten directions that will be major role players were identified for identity management progressing towards 2030 and they include:
The concept of identification will evolve from an absolute, qualitative and static definition of identification relying on a proof of identity, towards a relative, quantitative and dynamic definition of identification relying on evidence of identity.
In each country, a National Civil Registration Authority will be created to develop efficient and trusted ID management services based on a Unique Personal Number (UPN), informative and integer data, and will comply at the same time with the recommended practices of the IIMO and data protection and privacy regulations.
The Identity Management Organisation (IIMO) will be created to harmonize and coordinate ID management at a global level and support the development of digital ID infrastructures within the National Civil Registration Authorities (NCRAs).
The Identity Management Organizations will support the vision of a global identity chain growing the trusted ID information of the NCRAs and no longer based on the ill-trusted information of breeder documents.
Digital ID infrastructures will replace paper-based processes and allow for NCRAs to align their operational efficiencies to the challenges arising from a rapidly-growing and more mobile population and to cope with the amplification of the migration phenomenon, desired or forced, for personal, economical, political, religious, climatological or other safety reasons
ID management is integrated more and more into complex processes operated in parallel by multiple organizations, whether they be public, private, national or international. None of them will master the complete identity chain. The quality and integrity of this chain will only be achieved through collaboration and cooperation between NCRAs and the IIMO.
A large variety of biometric technologies will reach sufficient maturity to be implemented in practice, but a set of minimum common criteria needs to be defined to achieve a general acceptance for biometric ID management. The combination of several modalities is an essential parameter for the implementation of biometric technology in ID management processes, in order to reach a sufficient degree of universality in operational conditions.
The tokens storing the personal and biometric data digitally are designed to be multipurpose and cost-effective, and their form factor is left to the discretion of their owners.
The enforcement of data protection and privacy regulations and the accreditation of the organisational operating digital ID infrastructures will enhance the trust of citizens and users regarding ID management.
A new balance between efficiency and flexibility for digital ID management is discussed at the political level and when agreed upon, decisions will be enforced technically and administratively by the NCRAs.
There are three possible ways of proving one’s identity:
1. Using something you possess
2. Utilizing something you know
3. By means of what you are (fingerprint, face, hand etc) — Biometric Authentication
Biometric authentication for individuals has become a trend in today’s world as it is perceived to be a reliable and fast way of identity management through the use of unique biological characteristics. The confidence is in the level of security and accuracy that it guarantees. Taking a look at passwords, badges, or documents, biometric data cannot be stolen, forgotten or exchanged.
At Seamfix, we have received several requests about our biometric enrolment solutions from customers who wish to update their existing database with biometric data. Some of these requests are being driven by a regulatory push to ensure that businesses comply with international standards in identity management. Asides regulation, businesses are moving to update or append their existing database with biometric records such that at any point, a need to identify a person arises, one can easily do so using fingerprint, face etc.
Also, we have seen some banks implement biometric authentication (fingerprint) for Automated Teller Machines to ease the process of ATM withdrawals by speeding up the identification requirement. Other agencies rapidly adopting biometric authentication today include law enforcement, border control, healthcare and civil registry.
In light of this trend, the major challenges around biometric authentication still hover around proper biometric enrollment. How do we enable a society where biometric authentication becomes a no brainer? The regulatory bodies need to continue the push to ensure compliance in proper biometric enrolment of individuals across board such that authentication becomes a more easy and harmonized process.
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