The Digital ID & Authentication Council of Canada (“DIACC”) announced the launch of the Pan-Canadian Trust FrameworkTM (“PCTF”) this week, a set of digital ID and authentication industry standards that will define how digital ID will roll out across Canada. Its launch marks the shift from the framework’s development into official operation and will begin alpha testing by public and private sector members in Canada. The alpha testing will inform the launch of DIACC’s PCTF Voila Verified Trustmark Assurance Program  (“Voila Verified”), set to launch next year. 

As active members of DIACC, we’ve participated in the development of the PCTF over the last several years and continue to be impressed by the commitment and dedication in the community to establishing a truly collaborative environment across the public and private sectors. In many digital identity initiatives, there can be a greater focus on making digital services work for government only, or within specific industries (such as banking). The DIACC and the PCTF have strived to cast an inclusive and wide-ranging scope that covers the use of digital identity across many contexts, with importance placed on safety, security, and privacy for individuals and organizations alike.

The entire DIACC community are strong advocates for Canadians needing a safe and secure way to navigate their digital lives, which includes ways to authenticate transactions remotely while securely transferring sensitive information, all the while creating trust in who is on the other end of the transaction. Digital ID is a key enabler to facilitating the solution to this. The PCTF is the tool that ensures a digital ID framework can be rolled out across Canada that is interoperable by all key players and supports Canadian’s digital needs now and in the future. The PCTF can be summarized as:

  • A framework that will make it easier for Canadian citizens and businesses to interact with governments, businesses, and other organizations with a high degree of confidence.
  • Digital ID standards and requirements collaborated on by participating public and private sector organizations to meet current and future Canadian innovation needs.
  • An open public resource available to the Canadian and international public for review and adoption to ensure interoperability and transparency of Canada’s potential digital ID infrastructure.

While digital identity continues to gain traction and has become a significant priority for organizations around the world, the environment created by the pandemic has drastically accelerated the need for increased digital adoption, both for access to digital government services and increased remote customer engagement with private sector organizations. Digital ID is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’; it is a core requirement in a digital-first economy for Canadians to be able to participate and access all their needed services online in a safe and secure environment To continue driving progress and successful outcomes it is critical for all private and public sector players to champion and prioritize digital ID across Canada, leveraging the PCTF framework, to ensure sustainable social and economic growth for all Canadians. We at Consult Hyperion have seen firsthand how important and rewarding it is to be part of this community of digital identity experts, who are all focused on making the lives of everyday Canadians better. Other countries should take note – we all need digital identity but it won’t happen without proper collaboration.

Justin Gage

About the Author Justin Gage

Justin Gage, Principal Consultant, is a subject matter expert in payment and identity technology solutions and services. His background includes technology product and project management experience across financial services, consulting, and government roles, providing an effective interface between business and technical teams. At Consult Hyperion, he is delivery lead for the identity and privacy practice areas in North America, while also supporting projects focused on transit open-loop payments, secure digital payments, and payment technology modernisation. In this role, he provides client support for requirements gathering and formulation, market analysis, vendor selection, technical design review, solution implementation, and product development. His focus has been on banking, financial services, and public sector clients considering developing or enhancing existing digital identity and retail payment technology solutions.

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