Identity is an explicit target in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (Target 16.9: By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration). Exclusion for people means ‘depriving them of a proof of legal identity crucial for the protection of their rights and for access to justice and social services’.
So what does this mean for us in Aotearoa, and how does it relate to digital identity? As businesses, government departments, community groups and charities increase their reliance on digital services (and in particular the acceleration of digital transformation triggered by COVID-19), it is more important than ever to recognise how easy it is to exclude those already marginalised by ‘designing for the 80%’. As more and more of our interactions are online, how do we protect the rights and access to justice and social services for those who are unable, or perhaps reluctant to use the digital services we offer?
As the events of the past weeks have highlighted, society is recognising more and more that systemic racism, disempowerment and marginalisation is an insidious force that we cannot with good conscience ignore or sideline.
This is a complex and multifaceted issue, and is one that must be approached with empathy and a relentless commitment to understand and address the barriers that exist; be they access to internet and technology, trust and transparency, bias and laziness in design, or education and support. How do we restore and enhance mana for people and communities?
This is where Diversity is such a powerful force. A homogeneous product design/UX/app development team is not well equipped to design for the challenges of the vision impaired, or the dyslexic, or the person of colour who is poorly serviced by facial recognition technology, or for the strong family-based groups who may identify as a community as much as they do as an individual. So how can we welcome more diversity in our teams, and what steps do we need to take to diversify our education and recruitment ‘pipelines’?
Our next webinar is designed to explore the challenges and opportunities of both inclusion and diversity in technology, and the role identity plays in that. We are delighted and excited to be co-hosting the launch of Women in Identity in Aotearoa and Australia, and to meet the four incredible ambassadors in our region. Women in Identity beautifully articulate the power and potential of diversity in their motto ‘Digital identity solutions built for everyone are built by everyone’. Following the introductions we have a panel of experts talking through some of the challenges of Inclusivity in Aotearoa, and exploring the tangible steps we can take to ensure we are making a positive impact and not further widening the digital divide.
Join us on Thursday 25th June for this important discussion.
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