Open Identity Exchange lays out role for governments in digital wallet issuance

Governments should create robust trust frameworks that support the issuance and use of digital identity wallets created by private sector providers such as Apple and Google, but not issue wallets directly to end users themselves, according to the Open Identity Exchange (OIX).

The non-profit organisation that promotes the adoption of digital identity services globally recommends that governments do not provide their own digital ID wallets to citizens owing to the “vast costs associated with issuing and managing a wallet” and the “extremely technical and complex” development requirements.

Governments “are not best placed to maintain these effectively”, OIX says and recommends that their role “should be to create strong trust frameworks that enable the approval and trust of private sector provided wallets”.

“Any concerns governments may have about issuing government credentials into digital wallets that they have not provided can be mitigated by them creating strong trust frameworks. It also means the expense and technical resources required to build, operate and continually develop a wallet is not a burden on governments,” OIX’s Nick Mothershaw explains.

“For consumers, it means having one wallet rather than two, that holds a mix of government and non-government credentials — much like they do today with a physical wallet. If governments are the providers of digital wallets, it could also fuel privacy concerns among their citizens (real or imagined) that governments are monitoring how and where they use those wallets.

“Private sector wallets that are subject to a government trust framework are the best approach for all parties — governments, their citizens and the organisations that will come to rely on digital ID.”

Open Identity Exchange lays out role for governments in digital wallet issuance was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.