I type this month’s newsletter from the UK where summer has finally arrived – just as winter has in Aotearoa! While this is primarily a personal visit, digital identity activity follows me unabated, so you may see me mentioned in connection with a couple of UK events.
Digital Identity conversations, concerns and discussion closely resemble those back home. On the one hand it’s comforting that no jurisdiction is immune or somehow different. Yet on the other hand it’s rather daunting to be reminded that there is no solution or quick fix that can be copy and pasted into Aotearoa. It’s all the same issues with fraud, awareness and education, equitable and inclusive access for all and gaps in the standards/conformance layer in the end-to-end user journey.
It is on this last point that I do see a slight gap between the UK and Aotearoa. In the UK and in Europe more generally there seems to be more awareness of, and a sense of urgency around, the vulnerability of mobile smartphones, given the expectation that they will be the device of choice for most people to download digital identity related wallet apps.
It may well be driven by the European Commission’s eIDAS2 which is envisioned to be delivered in a mobile device-like wallet, the imminent arrival of Apple iOS16 and wallet capable, and a range of European governments thinking about how their existing and planned smartphone-based digital identity apps will interoperate in this rapidly changing and uncertain future.
In broad terms, the tech and the standards exist. The issue coming to light in Europe is in the fine-grained detail to create a trustworthy and predictable customer journey. Are the standards assessed and certified consistently to deliver trust? Is there convergence on a standard way to recover data in the event of theft or loss of the device? How is data on a device managed when several people are sharing it? And how do we as a global community of private and public sector stakeholders tackle the digital divide for the elderly, the disadvantaged, the digital naysayers? Aotearoa has made great progress but there is still such a long way to go.
On that note, we invite public and private stakeholders to come together and join the conversation on building a thriving and resilient trust economy for the benefit of all Kiwis. The Digital Trust Hui Taumata is a must-attend event for all those vested in the future of New Zealand’s digital ecosystem. I look forward to seeing many of you there next month.
Ngā Mihi nui,
Colin and the DINZ Executive Council