The Importance of ID Data Intermediaries

For many years, the ID and secure document industry has understood the potential that universal citizen identity would have for increasing worldwide economic development. And now, a World Economic Forum (WEF) think-tank has produced a 46-page report illustrating the potential benefit of a worldwide unifying digital ID data management policy.

The report, ‘Advancing Digital Agency: The Power of Data Intermediaries’ , written by members of the Task Force on Data Intermediaries at the WEF, defines digital ID as ‘an electronic ID (…) equivalent to an individual’s identity card, which is a way to provide verified information about a person to a program for processing’.

It goes on to describe how co-ordinated management of digital IDs could centralise data about social media, taxes, voting, food traceability, healthcare, telecommunications, and commercial and personal business transactions.

Many consumers living in developed economies will already be familiar with biometric-based digital ID systems that have been adopted by financial institutions for online shopping and other transactions. These types of authentication and authorisation processes are described in the report as ‘real time and free of hassle’.

But the WEF goes beyond this in the report and explores the potential to outsource human decision points to an agent acting on an individual’s behalf, in the form of a data intermediary.

The report acknowledges concerns about privacy and data security and describes how data management and personal privacy concerns can be addressed by data intermediaries.

Reports and white papers on the topic of digital ID are becoming a central focus for the WEF and the topic is a major part of its Great Reset agenda. The agenda aims to transform the world’s economy and its institutions.