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Interoperability: the citizen at the center of service offerings

Pierre A. Roberge, digital identity expert, co-founder of SecureKey and member of In-Sec-M, gave a talk at the Smart Cities, Digital Identities and Cybersecurity workshop on December 17 in Quebec City. Roberge recalled that the adoption of a strong, confidential and interoperable digital identifier is essential both to accelerate digital transformation and to keep the citizen at the center of the cybersecurity and cyber resilience strategy.

“Imagine you are the bad guy, what would you do to disrupt essential processes in your organization?” How would you shake the trust between your municipality and its citizens? What weaknesses would you exploit and how would you confuse your security service? Most of the time, questions like these are only taken into account in the final stages of the digital transformation journey of a system or organization. Unfortunately, this means that the essential aspects of cybersecurity are overlooked throughout the training phases of the process, which makes it extremely difficult to even be aware of your defense gaps – let alone close them properly. ”

This staging illustrates the importance of debating how to create, control, and benefit from digital identity information. How can we seize the opportunities offered by digital identities and guarantee the protection of rights in a sustainable and responsible way?

How to adopt digital identification

1. Giving control – data control fosters deeper engagement
2. Speed ​​- slow processes are a barrier to adoption
3. Security – ensure data protection when captured, in transit and at rest
4. Trust – everyone should be aware of the potential risks
5. Transparency – what information is required, what is the exchange of value for that information – all parties must understand the consequences in their exchange

“The digital identity has already started to take shape,” says Roberge. It includes (1) digital identifiers themselves (2) identification systems or services, and finally (3) governance models. There is already a base of norms, standards and a rapid evolution of improvements in the state of the art. Market experts generally agree that there will not be a single digital identity solution. ”

So how can we keep citizens at the centers of different service offers, from different departments? “The answer may seem complex, but the solution is rather simple. We can keep the citizen at the center by promoting the technical interoperability of digital identity solutions. This applies (1) to the level of supporting documents (2) of the systems and (3) of the governance models. “Let us work together to create and provide our children and our society with a strong and interoperable digital identity. The adoption of a strong, confidential and interoperable digital identifier is essential to accelerate and complete your digital transformation, and to keep the citizen at the center of your decisions on your smart infrastructures, your cybersecurity and cyber resilience strategies.

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