Securing the Future: The Transformative Impact of Digital ID
by Seven Peaks on Dec 30, 2023 2:00:00 PM
In today’s modern world, where interactions and transactions transcend physical boundaries, verifying one's identity has become an indispensable aspect of daily life. From accessing government services to engaging with private organizations, individuals must constantly prove who they are to access various services and conduct transactions securely.
As technology has transformed, we have witnessed a shift from relying solely on physical documents and objects for identity verification to embracing digital data, in a concept known as "digital ID." This article delves into the realm of digital ID, exploring its definition, underlying mechanisms, and the benefits it promises to bring to our lives, the economy, and society as a whole.
What is Digital ID?
Digital ID (not to be confused with Decentralized Identity, which has already reserved the acronym “DID”), also known as digital identity, is a digital system for verifying the identity of a person. It enables users to verify their identity before conducting transactions; conveniently, quickly, and securely. This highly reliable system ensures that the person verifying their identity is the real person. Digital ID is widely used to access online services from both the public and private sectors.
In the public sector, digital ID is employed to access services from various government agencies. It facilitates seamless access to essential services, such as applying for benefits, filing taxes, and renewing licenses.
In the private sector, digital ID plays a crucial role in financial transactions. It streamlines online banking, mobile payments, and digital asset management, enhancing security and convenience for financial activities within government compliance.
Digital ID serves as a cornerstone for the growth and innovation of FinTech and InsurTech businesses worldwide. It empowers these businesses to provide secure and convenient financial services, fostering a more connected and inclusive digital economy.
Securing the Features and the Future
Digital ID enables a multitude of benefits, including:
- Enhanced Security
Personal data is a valuable asset, and digital ID stands as a guardian, protecting individuals from the perils of unauthorized access and misuse. By employing robust authentication mechanisms, digital ID effectively shields sensitive information from prying eyes, mitigating the risk of fraud, identity theft, and other cybercrimes.
Digital ID eliminates the time-consuming nature of traditional identity verification methods. With digital ID, individuals can effortlessly verify their identity, whether accessing government services, conducting financial transactions, or engaging with private organizations.
- Increased Accessibility
Digital ID serves as a bridge, connecting individuals in remote areas or those with disabilities to the digital world. By removing physical barriers and simplifying the identity verification processes, digital ID empowers everyone to participate fully in the digital environment, fostering financial inclusion and promoting economic opportunities.
- Fraud Prevention
Digital ID plays a pivotal role in combating fraud, and safeguarding businesses and governments from unmitigated financial losses. By providing a secure and reliable means of verifying identity, digital ID effectively minimizes the risk of fraudulent activities, such as fake transactions and unauthorized access to sensitive data.
Digital ID has revolutionized government processes, streamlining operations and reducing administrative costs. By automating identity verification procedures, digital ID expedites service delivery and improves process efficiency.
- Improved Health Outcomes
Digital ID has the potential to transform healthcare, enabling healthcare providers to access and share patient data securely. This enhanced access to patient information can lead to improved diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases, ultimately driving better health outcomes.
With its array of benefits, digital ID stands as a keystone for a more secure, convenient, and inclusive digital world. As digital ID technology continues to evolve, its impact will undoubtedly expand, shaping a future where individuals and organizations can interact, transact, and engage securely with confidence and ease.
The principles of digital ID can be divided into two main steps:
- Identification (Proof of Identity)
The process which is comparable to registering for a service for the first time. The service provider will gather identification information from the user to confirm their identity. This information may include phone numbers, email addresses, scanned ID cards, or biometric data such as fingerprints, iris scans, or facial scans. The user will then establish a password to access the service in the future.
- Authentication (Verification of Identity)
The process by which a user verifies their identity with the service provider to ensure they are the same person who provided the information. This process may employ a combination of verification methods or multi-factor authentication (MFA), such as entering the password set in the first step, entering an OTP (One-Time Password) code sent by the service provider to the user's mobile phone, or scanning a fingerprint. The specific verification methods used will vary depending on the system's security level.
Parties Involved in the Process
- Entity: Individuals or legal entities seeking identity verification services before accessing a service.
- Identity Provider (IdP): Private organizations that offer identity verification services to users. They manage and safeguard user identity information, with the ability to exchange identity data with government agencies.
- Authorizing Source (AS): Organizations responsible for storing or owning identity information of identity verification users. These include entities like banks, the Department of Provincial Administration, or the Credit Bureau. ASs validate the accuracy and trustworthiness of information as requested by IdPs.
- Relying Party (RP): Digital service providers that require identity verification results from IdPs before granting access to their services. Examples include online retailers, banks, and hospitals.
Digital ID Identification and Authentication Process Chart by DGA
Current Implementations in Thailand
- DGA Digital ID
A digital identity verification system developed by Thailand’s Digital Government Development Agency (DGA). It is used to provide services to citizens through the Citizen Portal, the Biz Portal, and the digital services of various government agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Employment, and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).
This system uses cross-referenced information from the national ID card (Department of Provincial Administration database) and mobile phone number (MobileID service) to verify identity. It allows citizens to access services from these agencies without having to re-authenticate their identity, saving both time for consumers and development costs for government agencies.
- NDID or National Digital ID
A centralized system for managing digital identities, enabling secure and convenient online identity verification. It empowers citizens to seamlessly access various services from both the public and private sectors.
The system utilizes information from the national ID card and a facial photo. Currently, 13 service providers offer NDID registration, including 11 commercial and state banks, one telecom provider, and one FinTech provider.
- Mobile ID
A digital identity verification system that seamlessly integrates with mobile network operator databases to verify user identities against their national ID card data. This system enables citizens to conveniently register their identity information and utilize their mobile phone number as a secure means of verifying their identity when accessing services from government agencies and private service providers anytime, anywhere.
An innovative application developed by the Department of Provincial Administration, Ministry of the Interior of Thailand, designed to streamline and enhance the digital identity verification process. Leveraging information from the national ID card database and a facial photo, this app empowers citizens to conveniently verify their identity when accessing services from both the public and private sectors, eliminating the need for tedious form filling.
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