This week we are kicking off our second annual benchmark research on digital identity and trust. Our first report found that 79% of the over 1,000 people surveyed were concerned about the protection of their digital identity and personal information, 85% feel there is a lack of transparency about data use and 82% were concerned about having to share information with a multitude of companies. This year, with the generous support of Internet NZ, we are deepening the research to explore aspects of trust, control and transparency, including focusing on how these differ by various communities.
Last year’s research highlighted that 70% of respondents felt there was a lack of technology solutions that helped them address their concerns. The swirling debate around COVID-19 Contact Tracing has highlighted the challenge; from balancing risks of surveillance and privacy, the implementation of various clever but sometimes competing technologies, through to the practicalities of ‘connecting up’ disparate systems whilst maintaining integrity and trust. The plethora of competing solutions for businesses requiring contact registers only goes to highlight our collective challenge. At DINZ we have referred to a ‘digital identity ecosystem’ on a number of occasions, and further work on the ecosystem is one of the key priorities the Executive Council have agreed for DINZ this year. The visualisation of Aotearoa’s ecosystem will aid in our collective understanding of the role different stakeholders play, as well as the domains they operate in and the nature of their technological approach (e.g. whether they adopt decentralised methods). It will serve as both a map of our current landscape and in subsequent phases a roadmap to the future; identifying for instance those organisations seeking to deploy independent ‘identity wallets’ or those who will play a facilitating infrastructure role in connecting identity service providers with identity consumers. Over the next few weeks we will be collecting information and surveying digital identity stakeholders working in New Zealand to gather the raw data required for the first iteration of our Aotearoa Digital Identity Ecosystem map. Stay tuned, and please get in touch if you would like to be involved in the ecosystem project team.
Both the research and ecosystem represent aspects of trust in digital identity; a layer that is about people and community perceptions, and a layer that is about our collective and collaborative efforts as active participants. Whilst recognising the challenges in both, we look forward to a year of building and enhancing trust for the benefit of all New Zealanders.
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