International Identity Day: The need for Inclusion by Design

September 16 is International Identity Day – a commemoration of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 16.9 which calls for the provision of legal identity for all by 2030.

On this day, you will see many corporations calling out their progress in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). These include their DEI mission statement, the number of Employee Resource Groups they have, the increase in diversity percentages they are aiming for in the near future and other such commitment metrics. Entrust could easily highlight all these initiatives as well. But while these efforts are extremely important, should be tracked, measured, and improved upon and is somewhat linked to the notion of “identity” – is that really the most important aspect of this day?

DevOps Experience 2022

Around the world, according to McKinsey & Company, nearly one billion people have no form of legal ID. That means they have no birth certificate, driver’s license, National ID, or passport – no legal way to interact with their own government for services or aid. Without legal identification, millions are potentially denied access to education, financial services, health care, the recognized labor market, or even the ability to secure property. Nearly 1 in every 8 people do not legally exist in today’s world.

The Role of Government

Governments, the issuers of identity documents, have a large role to play to resolve this global inequality. Accessibility for all government services requires that one be recognized and validated as a citizen – which is not as easy as it might seem. Geographic expanse, differences in socio-economic rates within the population, aging infrastructure, lack of resources, political impacts and competing budgetary priorities can all pose a hinderance to any identity issuance initiative for a government. Multiple forms of identity for every citizen can be very complicated to manage as well.

Recently governments have been looking towards digital identity to help solve some of these challenging issues. A number of countries that have either implemented digital identity systems or are working towards that goal including EstoniaGermany, the U.K., Canada, Australia, the EU, and many more.