A new white paper makes the case that governments should allow the private sector to establish digital wallets, rather than issue their own.
The Open Identity Exchange (OIX) says there are vast costs associated with issuing and managing a wallet, and the development requirements will be extremely technical and complex. As such, it believes governments are not best placed to maintain these effectively.
Instead, OIX recommends that the role of governments should be “to create strong trust frameworks that enable the approval and trust of private sector provided wallets”. This includes the tech firms, such as Google and Apple, that may want to hold and present government credentials in their wallets. Government credentials can then be issued only into these approved private sector wallets, helping to address any perceived loss of control or oversight by governments.
The report comes in response to the increasing use of digital wallets globally as governments try to determine how their own citizens can use them to carry government issued credentials.
The OIX is a global non-profit organisation that has been working across sectors, borders and with governments, on the development of digital ID.
Nick Mothershaw, Chief Identity Strategist at OIX, said: “Any concerns governments may have about issuing government credentials into digital wallets that they have not provided, can be mitigated by them creating strong trust frameworks. It also means the expense and technical resources required to build, operate and continually develop a wallet is not a burden on governments.
“For consumers, it means having one wallet rather than two, that holds a mix of government and non-government credentials – much like they do today with a physical wallet. If governments are the providers of digital wallets, it could also fuel privacy concerns among their citizens (real or imagined) that governments are monitoring how and where they use those wallets."