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OIX highlights need for three features in digital IDs

12/04/22

Mark Say Managing Editor

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Nick Mothershaw
Image source: OIX

The Open Identity Exchange (OIX) has highlighted three concepts that it says are missing from existing trust frameworks for digital identities.

This comes as part of the membership organisation’s new guide for developing smart digital identities and frameworks.

OIX, which has previously worked with the Cabinet Office and provided input to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on developing digital IDs, said the document – titled Trust Frameworks for Smart Digital ID – is a culmination of research and publications over the past 10 years.

One of the key concepts is that a digital identity has to work for the user and the organisations that want to get trusted information, so must be linked to user centricity through a set of principles outlined in the guide.

Secondly, digital ID needs to be smart, guiding the user through complex processes and rules that organisations must follow to gather credentials, derive information and obtain consent for sharing the data.

Thirdly, compatibility and interoperability are key elements of a system. With this in mind OIX is currently exploring the need for a meta framework to enable translation between one framework and another.

Resolve complexity

Nick Mothershaw (pictured), chief identity strategist at OIX, said digital identity “needs to be ‘smart’ and trust frameworks will play a vital role, but we must resolve the complexity of the trust framework layer in order to make it happen.

“Working with industries and governments across the globe, we recognised the need for a definitive guide. Our new guide fully embraces all the key concepts and approaches being discussed, such as smart wallets and the self-sovereign ID approach, whilst remaining technology agnostic.

“Moreover, it is a comprehensive and practical guide that could mean the difference between a framework that meets all its parties’ needs or one that fails.” 

In a recent interview with UKAuthority, Mothershaw emphasised the importance of frameworks strong enough to prevent but not so deep they stifle market innovation, and the need for a governance body involving public and private sector representatives.

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