The Royal Holloway University of London has produced an excellent report on Digital Identity: Ground-up Perspectives.
The research and report, created by Lizzie Coles Kemp and Claude P.R. Heath, makes very interesting reading.
It looks at Digital Identity from the perspective of a number of diverse groups who need to use Digital IDs to access key services and who are often having to do so from disadvantaged starting points, or on behalf of others that they support.
The report chimes well with OIX’s vision and approach to Digital ID.
The participants thoughts on a Digital ID are summed up by the following:
- Identity services must be transparent.
- The eligibility rules for a digital identity must be clear and fair.
- There must be clear accountability for the digital identity scheme.
- If it goes wrong or problems occur, it must be clear whose responsibility it is to fix the system.
- An identity scheme must not be imposed on people but only rolled out by consent.
- The design of the digital identity scheme must be co-designed with as diverse a group across society as possible. This includes the processes of governance and accountability.
- An identity must be reliable, consistent and usable by a wide cross-section of society.
- The rules of data use must be clear, transparent and fair, and support the rights of the individual.
- A digital identity system must be secure.
- Effective help must be available if users of a digital identity system encounter problems.
The participants all coalesced around the following hopes:
- A digital identity scheme that works for the people, not the people work for the digital identity scheme.
- A digital identity scheme that respects a person’s rights and that is accessible to all.
- A digital identity scheme that enables a person to have autonomy and control over their own identity.
These points all align well with OIX’s own end user facing principles – the 4Cs – Choice, Control, Confidence and Convenience.
The first point above is very interesting: it’s got to work for the people, not for the scheme. This is why OIX defined it’s guide to Trust Frameworks in a user centric way. The user must come first. The design of any trust framework and trust schemes must be inclusive. The OIX Inclusion Steering Group is focussing on this challenge and will shortly be releasing a study on Inclusion Groupings and associated data sets than can help bring users into the Digital ID ecosystem.
An interesting point is that “participants suggested a multi-layer or modular digital identity which started as a core identity that provided access to essential services. Each additional layer of the identity might offer a greater level of functionality but would also be more complex to manage”. This suggests that end users do understand that a digital ID can have different levels of trust. The challenge will be in how to communicate this to the end user in a way all users understand. OIX’s view is that this is a key role of a Trustmark as the visual brand the user associates with a Digital ID ecosystem or scheme.
Finally, we must remember that end users are cost sensitive. The participants highlight that the cost of proofs such as a Passport are a barrier to entry into a Digital ID ecosystem.
I encourage all out members to read this. As we at OIX feed into the reviews on the UK Trust Framework over the coming months, and we consider and recommend how governance for Digital ID must work, the findings and principles in this study must be taken into account.
You can find the report here: HERE