Privacy and Transparency in the Digital Identity Ecosystem in Canada
The federal, provincial and territorial Information and Privacy Commissioners across Canada recognize the many potential benefits of a privacy-respecting and secure digital identity for use by Canadians. The development of which is part of a broader global trend intended to enable individuals, businesses and devices to securely and efficiently connect with one another.
To be trusted, digital identities must meet high standards of privacy, security, transparency and accountability; and must not come at the cost of fine-grained tracking and surveillance, increased risk of discrimination, heightened incidence of identity theft, fraud and other harms, or diminished roles for individual users.
In our office’s 2021-2022 Annual Report, Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ron Kruzeniski, K.C., states
“I would hope the Government of Saskatchewan continues to consult, educate and explain the benefits of a digital ID for citizens of our province. My hope is that Saskatchewan develops a digital ID that meets our province’s needs, maximizes the benefits and minimizes the risks.”
In order to address these potential risks, the federal, provincial and territorial Information and Privacy Commissioners are committed to working with one another, their respective governments and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the responsible design and implementation of a digital identity ecosystem in Canada.
In doing so, they commit to the following:
- Continually monitor the development of digital identity initiatives.
- Collaborate between our respective offices to strengthen our collective capacity and knowledge in this area.
- Stand ready to engage with our respective governments to provide our views and advice on evolving digital ID programs and initiatives in a timely, constructive manner that is conducive to enhancing privacy protections and public trust in the adoption of digital identities.
Finally, the design and operation of privacy-respecting digital identities and a trustworthy digital identity ecosystem should meet various conditions and properties and should be integrated with a legislative framework applicable to the creation and management of digital identities. For more on the list of conditions, including ecosystem properties, role of individuals, governance and oversight, a link to the full resolution can be found here.
Julie Ursu, Manager of Communication