Pros and cons over roll-out of widespread digital identities

The DPDI Bill establishes a framework for the provision of digital verification services, but there are concerns over surveillance. By Laura Linkomies.

The plans for digital IDs have been somewhat overshadowed by the data protection debates concerning the Data Protection and Digital Information (DPDI) Bill(1). While digital identities will not become mandatory, the Bill sets standards to make sure innovative private-sector solutions protect privacy.

Speaking at a Westminster Forum conference on digital identities on 14 March, Professor Ana Beduschi, Professor of Law from the University of Exeter said that there is the potential for excessive surveillance if digital identity providers are not regulated.

The DPDI Bill’s Clauses 74-77 and 80 are about public authorities disclosing personal information to trusted digital verification services providers for the purpose of identity and eligibility verification. Beduschi said that Data Protection Impact Assessments should support the development of digital identity systems, as well as using a privacy by design approach.

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