Today, Canadians are realizing just how important their identity is, and the demand for more convenient, digital options to manage identity documents is there.

According to Trust and Identity in a Digital World, a new research study from Interac Corp., eight in 10 Canadians (83 per cent) count their identity as one of their most valuable assets. 

While our lives today have become increasingly digital, our identity documents, such as passports and driver’s licences, remain paper-based. Results from this survey found that nearly half of respondents have taken to photographing their physical IDs in order to conveniently access their documents in a digital form. Furthermore, 59 per cent find it difficult to keep track of all their physical IDs. 

Of those surveyed, 65 per cent feared that a digital ID would be at a greater risk of theft than a physical ID, a fear that can be attributed in part to a knowledge gap in overall understanding of digital ID. 

At IdentityNORTH we provide the platform to discover and explore the big questions, innovations, and ideas shaping the digital economy and driving digital transformation. Part of our mandate is to educate Canadians about what digital identity is, and the opportunities it presents. At IdentityNORTH events, speakers demonstrate real-life applications of digital ID. 

Digital ID in Action 

At the 2019 IdentityNORTH Annual Summit, SecureKey’s Greg Wolfond talked about how everything from financial services to health care and beyond, could be enhanced with better digital identity practices. 

Greg Wolfond, CEO, SecureKey

Wolfond advised just how important privacy is, especially when it comes to health care. He explained how, currently, our health care system does not have a secure system for identifying people. 

Wolfond, along with University Health Network’s (UHN) Dr. Joseph Cafazzo, ran through various identity challenges in both the Ontario and U.S. health care systems, such as simple typos creating multiple files for one person and the fact that the health care system is extremely fractured. In Ontario, there are at least 70 patient portals, Wolfond explained.

Verified.Me, the new app presented at the Summit, is set to raise the bar on security.  The app uses SecureKey’s technologies to enable consumers to verify their identity using trusted providers, such as banks or governments, whether it be online or in person. Information is only ever shared with explicit user consent, giving the consumer complete control. Furthermore, encrypted information is also available in real-time but isn’t stored on the app, so there’s no risk of the information being identified, accessed, or misused. “The impact, once we get this right, is going to be profound,” Wolfond said.

Dr. Cafazzo then spoke to how digital identity enables a new innovation in health care, adding that “we’re still not where we need to be.” 

The myUHN portal, which allows patients access to their personal health records, has 80,000 patients signed up. However, Dr. Cafazzo explained that there are one million patients every year within the UHN, and uptake is slow as there are many barriers to sign up, specifically the requirement of in-person registration.

But according to Dr. Cafazzo, patients who access applications attached to their own health data can take control of their own health care and get healthier faster.

For example, the mobile application Bant, which helps simplify diabetes management.

Bant can communicate with medical devices, annotate with your diet, and offers many features that explain and track one’s information, Dr. Cafazzo said.

“We’re really interested in how this data can manage serious chronic illness,” he said, adding that he sees digital therapeutics like Bant as “the future of health care in Canada and beyond.”  

For more details on the IdentityNORTH 2019 Annual Summit sessions, including “Digital ID driving the design of safe, secure and convenient experiences across multiple sectors like financial services and health,” join our community mailing list to view the full Conference Report. 

See more examples of Canadian research and innovation in digital ID at the 2019 IdentityNORTH Eastern Workshop on October 2 & 3 in Halifax, Nova Scotia! 

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2019-09-16T18:02:50+00:00September 16th, 2019|Categories: Articles, Events, News|