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New organisation to promote digital identity in NZ

New Zealand is about to have its first formal digital identity organisation in the form of Digital Identity NZ, and it will be spearheaded by NZTech.

According to a recent report, Digital Identity NZ will promote digital identity to New Zealanders. It will also promote open standards and policy that allows room for innovation.

It will be the country’s newest not-for-profit organisation that will bring together private and government organisations in order to make digital identity easier and more secure for everyone in New Zealand.

The purpose of the organisation is to guarantee that the country will be a country where everyone can fully participate in society by confidently expressing their digital identity.

Digital identity has become a part of a number of everyday transactions. These transactions include signing on to a website to buy a product or service, visiting a hospital, or getting a tax refund.

It has become such a commonplace that there are now several times per week wherein people needed some form of digital identity. Add to that how there are so many ways of providing it.

That complexity can be challenging for customers or users of that technology. Concerns that people contend with include questions of security, privacy and consent that are becoming increasingly important for all to consider.

However, digital identity has incredible potential which can be utilised in the future.

One is the use of a selfie-ID. It is a form of facial recognition that some banks are now allowing customers to use in order to open accounts without having to visit a branch.

Other organisations, meanwhile, use fingerprints or voice recognition.

RealMe is a government initiative that has been in existence for many years but there are doubts whether a centralised ID is the best approach in a world where people want ease of use and mobility, and privacy and security as well.

Blockchain is also on the cutting-edge of digital identity.

There are countries that have already created a single government ID number that is central to many identity-based services.

Japan and India, for instance, require a single ID to access government services. Moreover, Estonia has issued every citizen a digital ID card since 2001.

It is significant that all New Zealanders, companies and organisations are informed of what digital identity exactly is.

Digital identity not only prevents fraud, but it also asserts who the person is in society.

As more and more activities are done online, it is necessary to adapt how people are being enabled to claim who they are.

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