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techUK talks Digital Identity at CogX

On day two of this year's online CogX conference, techUK yesterday discussed digital identity with a panel featuring 3 of the most prominent personalities in the sector. Julie Dawson, Director of Regulatory and Policy at Yoti, Dan Johnson, Vice-President Digital Identity at MasterCard and Chuka Umunna, Executive Director of Digital Identity Net, joined Ruth Milligan, Head of Digital Identity and Open Data at techUK looked to the future for digital ID.

The three speakers addressed a number of pressing issues, speaking from their different perspectives on the market. All agreed that post-Covid, solving the barriers which stand in the way of digital ID, like outdated legislation that mandates paper documents for age verification in shops, will be crucial for the return to health of the UK economy. All three speakers saw digital IDs as being the way for consumers to access online services in a digital economy, in a secure way which allows them to share only those details about themselves necessary for the transaction. A key word used was 'utility': digital ID is not an end in itself; it is a hugely useful tool, allowing access to services and making online life better, easier and more joined up. An added bonus is that it would save, according to a McKinsey study, 3-13% of GDP. 

The speakers also noted that the UK government has not, to date, been sufficiently supportive and has not provided the platform the market needs to establish interoperable standards. They acknowledged the nervousness of many politicians over the issue of identity, given its difficult history and the perception that UK citizens were not keen. But all were convinced: the usefulness of digital identities had been proven throughout the Covid crisis and what people want now is something to do the job. It is time to bring this essential element of our digital economy to life.

The main message emerging from the panel, however, was overwhelmingly positive. The lockdown necessitated by Covid-19 has shown us all the ways digital ID could help our lives, businesses and the economy. The time is now right to see a market emerge and all three speakers are determined to make it happen.

If you’d like to catch-up or re-watch any of CogX recorded sessions, take a look here. (The Digital ID session starts at 4:20:00)


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