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OIX pushes concept of digital vouching


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Nick Mothershaw
Image source: OIX

The Open Identity Exchange (OIX) has made the case for a ‘digital vouching’ process to support access to public and private sector services.

The non-profit membership organisation has published a paper on the issue, saying it could provide a trusted mechanism for ‘ID challenged’ individuals to prove their entitlement.

Digital vouching is a process that involves a person who is already trusted legally vouching for another individual they have known for some time, but who is struggling to prove who they are.  

OIX says this would help them to create their own assured digital ID, helping to verify their identity.

It believes that a digital vouch will enable more inclusive digital ID ecosystems and is urging governments and trust framework providers to implement it as a key source of evidence for the whole enrolment process. 

Struggle in enrolment

ID challenged individuals often struggle to pass the enrolment process for a digital ID due to factors such as there being no comprehensive central government record for all citizens, not having identity documents such as passports or driving licences, and not having a bank account or credit record which could be checked.

Nick Mothershaw (pictured), chief identity strategist at OIX, said: “Almost everything, including appointments, transactions and operations, is now taking place online. Solving the identity problem has to be a priority for everyone otherwise large sections of society will continue to be excluded. 

 “Our message is clear – we will not achieve an inclusive digital ID ecosystem if digital vouching is not implemented by governments and trust frameworks.” 

OIX said that when the World Bank estimated that 1.1 billion people globally lacked formal identification and therefore were excluded from basic services, digital ID was widely recognised as the key to addressing this issue. But as digital ID ecosystems have grown and trust frameworks are being established around the world to govern and enable the safe and fair use of digital ID, it has become clear that they are failing those individuals who still cannot prove who they are.

It has revealed that in the UK alone, 11% of adults are still struggling to enrol for a digital ID. 


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