While COVID-19 has me questioning what the future may bring, it has also given me some time to think about the big picture of the future of digital identity. As many of you may be aware, the Alliance Identity Council and Access Control Council have been busy exploring the technical and business applications for managing identity credentials on a mobile device.
The Alliance’s mobile driver’s license initiative, under the leadership of the Identity Council, has already published a detailed industry collaboration white paper Mobile Driver’s License (mDL) and Ecosystem; delivered a series of webinars that include industry experts, federal and state mDL leaders, and supporting industry groups to present key findings from the publication; hosted in-person workshops on digital identity and mDL use in retail; and are responsible for creating the mDLConnection.com website providing education resources and tracking the progress of state mDL pilots and rollouts. New projects assessing the obstacles that need to be addressed for faster implementation of mDLs and looking further into requirements for mDL use by relying parties are forming now.
Concurrently with those actions, the Access Control Council has started a new industry collaboration project about using digital credentials stored on mobile devices for physical access control. As government and commercial offices expand remote operations due to COVID-19 safety concerns and health regulations, they are forced to secure remote access to networks and virtual systems. Issuing photo ID badges good for physical access is no longer sufficient. The Council will explore ways for mobile devices to be used in a secure way to issue and store mobile identity credentials for use in accessing buildings and authenticating to remote locations and networks.
Digital identity is also expanding into payments. Financial institutions are among the most trusted by consumers and these business relationships often involve extensive knowledge about the individual customer. They also operate expansive global transaction networks that link consumers, retailers, and processors in real time to make risk-based decisions about identity. Those networks and the personal data they manage can be used to authenticate if someone’s digital identity data can be trusted in the same way they authenticate if someone’s payment data is trusted. As COVID-19 moves more commerce to card-not-present transactions, the value of financial networks providing businesses with higher trust for non-face-to-face identity transactions will increase. The Alliance’s global payment network members, processors, and payments technology and services providers will be the early movers and adopters behind this trend.
So the “big picture” of digital identity is very exciting and the Secure Technology Alliance is fortunate to have so many important leaders from diverse ecosystems in the mobile, digital identity, and payments marketplace contributing their thought leadership on these important issues. If you are not a member yet or are a member but not yet active, make your participation is this organization yet one more change you are experiencing during this COVID-19 era.
Executive Director, Secure Technology Alliance