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Digital ID framework to begin testing in Canada

The Digital ID & Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) has announced the launch of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework (PCTF), a set of digital ID and authentication industry standards that will define how digital ID will roll out across Canada.

Digital ID framework

Digital ID framework to begin testing in Canada

Its launch marks the shift from the framework’s development into official operation and will begin alpha testing by public and private sector members in Canada. The alpha testing will inform the launch of DIACC’s PCTF Voila Verified Trustmark Assurance Program (Voila Verified), set to launch next year.

“The pandemic has pushed digital adoption five years into the future. Without the proper infrastructure for digital ID and authentication in place, we’ve seen firsthand how Canadians have been left vulnerable and with limited access to essential services,” said Eros Spodotto, Executive Vice-President of Technology, TELUS.

From Open Banking to e-health, digital ID is a key enabler in unlocking the next frontier of our digital economy. Banks and telcos fortunately have been able to leverage existing digital ID services to support Canadians. “Digital identity verification has helped countless Canadians receive financial aid during the pandemic,” notes Andre Boysen, Chief Identity Officer at SecureKey, “But it’s not enough. Now, we need to leverage that momentum, and push out a solution for digital ID in all levels of society. The PCTF is that answer.”

“The PCTF launch marks an important milestone in Canada’s digital transformation initiatives,” explains Dave Nikoljsin, Board Chair at DIACC. “Canadians have had to deal with identity theft and fraud, high anxiety in accessing services that they were in dire need of while facing social distancing measures, and attempting to go about their lives as normally as possible. Digital ID minimises all of those pain points, and elevates the livelihoods of Canadians everywhere.”

Alpha testing of the PCTF will be carried out by over 20 Canadian public and private sector DIACC member organisations during the next two quarters with the purpose of operationalising the framework as fast as possible. Organisations that have volunteered to take part in the alpha test seek to gain strategic and operational insights to become demonstrated leaders in digital identity.

Learnings taken from the alpha testing will help DIACC identify what is needed to scale up a digital identity infrastructure across Canada, and help Canada secure international digital interoperability and accreditation by working with international and third party partners such as eIDAS and Kantara Initiative IAF.

A Digital ID Trademark You Can Trust

The alpha testing will also inform the launch of  Voila Verified. The program is set to launch in fall 2021, and will issue a PCTF Voila Verified Trustmark to organisations who demonstrate compliance with PCTF components. Voila Verified will enable solutions and service providers to leverage the trustmark to elevate their market leadership and allow them to collaborate securely with assurance, providing their customers with the digital-first experience that they demand.

“Our economy has been heavily impacted by all this, and we know digital identity has the potential to add at least 3% of GDP, which is potentially almost $100 billion back into our Canadian economy. This is why we’ve accelerated the launch of the PCTF. The time for digital ID is now,” concludes Joni Brennan, President of DIACC.

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