Digital IDs Are Coming

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Know The Facts

Digital IDs are often promoted by advocates and stakeholders as symbols of inclusion, modern convenience, and protection against online fraud. However, reality tells a different story.
The purported benefits to consumers, mainly slight improvements in convenience, are minimal at best. In contrast, governments and international special interest groups stand to gain significantly.
With digital IDs, the processes of tracking, tracing, authorising, and deauthorizing privileges become seamless. As these systems become more integrated, it becomes increasingly easy for those in power to exert control.
The impact on personal privacy, as well as freedoms related to choice, movement, and medical decisions is profound (as evidenced by the COVID-19 vaccine mandates).
It's crucial to look beyond the marketing rhetoric, follow the financial incentives, and understand the agenda.

Many stakeholders are invested in pushing Digital IDs forward. Below is an overview of primary organisations involved. Many of them are the ‘usual suspects'.
International Organisations:
  • World Economic Forum (WEF): The World Economic Forum's Known Traveller Digital Identity (KTDI) program, currently in pilot, raises significant concerns about privacy and surveillance. By promoting biometric and cryptographic technologies for travel, it paves the way for mass surveillance and data collection by governments and corporations.

    Critics argue that such initiatives could lead to intrusive tracking and profiling of individuals, undermining privacy and civil liberties. See more on the fast tracking of paperless travel here.

  • ID2020 Alliance: The ID2020 Alliance, which includes over 50 participants including the usual suspects: Blackrock, Rockefeller Foundation, Gavi-the Vaccine Alliance, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Accenture, Deliotee, Cisco Systems, Hyperledger, Mastercard, and more, all advocating for universal digital IDs. This initiative will lead to unprecedented levels of data collection.

    The participation of these notorious organizations raises concerns about motive and the likely exploitation of personal data for profit, compromising individual privacy, and creating a mechanism for surveillance and control of citizens by governments.

  • Digital Impact Alliance: The Digital Impact Alliance focuses on developing digital technologies in low- and middle-income countries. Claiming to benefit individuals and communities by improving quality of life, economic growth, and greater equality.

    Again, with notable donors such as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and United Nations Foundation, there are significant concerns regarding intent, data privacy, and potential misuse for surveillance and control by governments or corporations.

Financial Institutions:
  • The World Bank: Through its ID4D initiative, the World Bank claims to be supporting over 60 countries, particularly developing nations, in advancing digital ID systems to ‘improve access to services and enhance governance’. While these efforts are purported to enhance “inclusion, protection, and equality”, digital IDs, especially when connected to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), pose significant risks.

    Such systems could be misused by authoritarian regimes, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, to enforce compliance and suppress dissent. Financial restrictions could be swiftly applied, effectively binding individuals to the system and eroding personal freedoms. Critics also argue that these systems could be used to exert economic and political influence, compromising the sovereignty and privacy of individuals in these countries.

  • International Monetary Fund (IMF): The IMF is significantly involved in the development and promotion of digital IDs for their integral role in arbitrating the flow of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and enabling their new broader digital financial infrastructure.

    CBDCs are designed to terminate through a single central bank ledger aggregating monetary control into a one location controlled by a handful of unelected people. They are also acheteched to be programmable as to make authorizing and deauthorizing of payments, access, and privileges effortless. Digital IDs will serve as the gateway to this system of monetary control.

Governments:
  • Governments worldwide (including New Zealand) are increasingly advancing the digital transformation of essential identity documents, such as passports and driver's licenses, into a programmable and scalable system. This system integrates highly personal biometric data, including facial recognition, retinal scans, and fingerprints.

    While these measures are touted for their security benefits against identity theft, the real concern is not identity theft itself. Rather, the threat lies in governments using such systems to coerce citizens into conforming to specific behaviors and punishing dissent or criticism. This scenario is not hypothetical; China's sophisticated digital ID and social credit system exemplifies such a reality.

    The COVID-19 pandemic offered a glimpse into the implications of monitoring systems here in New Zealand with tools like the NZ COVID Tracer app, developed by Rush Digital, which tracked movements and could notify authorities about violations of government regulations. Additionally, the My Vaccine Pass, created by tech company MATTR, was instrumental in facilitating the two-tier society perpetuated by Jacinda Ardern's Labour government, that penalized those who exercised their right to make independent medical choices.

Behind the development of Digital ID technology is a vast consortium of associations and member organisations. Below are some of the key players.
Technology Companies:
  • Microsoft: Through initiatives like the Decentralized Identity Foundation, Microsoft is working on creating secure digital identity systems that leverage blockchain technology.
  • IBM: IBM’s blockchain-based solutions are being developed to provide secure, decentralised digital identities.
Global Identity Organisations:
  • ID2020 Alliance: A coalition of private and public partners, including Microsoft, Gavi, and the Rockefeller Foundation, working to create a global digital identity system.
  • World Bank: Through initiatives like the Identification for Development (ID4D) program, the World Bank supports the development and implementation of digital ID systems in developing countries.
Governments and Public Sector:
  • Indian Government (Aadhaar): One of the largest digital ID systems globally, Aadhaar provides a unique identification number to residents of India.
  • Estonian Government (e-Residency): Estonia offers a digital identity for its e-residents, allowing them to access various services online.
Financial Service Providers:
  • Mastercard: Developing digital ID solutions that integrate with payment systems to enhance security and streamline transactions.
  • Visa: Also investing in digital ID technologies to provide secure, efficient payment solutions.
The key benefits espoused by proponents of Digital IDs are as follows:
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Widespread integration of Digital IDs pose MANY risks, dangers, threats to everyday your life. Below is a summary of the obvious, invasive, and far reaching implications they will bring.
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Knowledge is freedom

Know The Facts

Digital ID’s are touted as a beacon of modern convenience and our saviour against online fraud. But is that reality? Or are they perhaps a platform for something else entirely? Time to look behind the marketing speak and decide for yourself.

Who is pushing for Digital IDs & who will be providing technology?

Proponents

The organisations pushing for the Digital ID system

International Organisations:

  • World Economic Forum (WEF): The WEF has been a strong advocate for digital identities as part of its broader agenda to shape global digital transformation.
  • United Nations (UN): The UN, through initiatives like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), promotes digital IDs as a means to enhance financial inclusion and global development.

Government Entities:

  • Central Banks: Central banks, particularly those exploring Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), often advocate for digital IDs to streamline financial systems and enhance security.
  • National Governments: Countries like India (with Aadhaar) and Estonia (with their e-residency program) are notable examples of governments pushing digital ID systems to modernize public administration and services.

Technology Companies:

  • Microsoft: Has been involved in developing digital ID solutions and has partnered with the ID2020 Alliance to promote digital identities as a way to provide secure and verifiable forms of identification.
  • IBM: Offers blockchain-based identity solutions aimed at enhancing security and privacy for digital identities.

Financial Institutions:

  • Banks and Financial Services: Institutions like JP Morgan and Mastercard are investing in digital ID technologies to streamline KYC (Know Your Customer) processes and reduce fraud in financial transactions .

Stakeholders

The organisations invested in the infrastructure of Digital IDs

Technology Companies:

  • Microsoft: Through initiatives like the Decentralized Identity Foundation, Microsoft is working on creating secure digital identity systems that leverage blockchain technology.
  • IBM: IBM’s blockchain-based solutions are being developed to provide secure, decentralised digital identities.

Global Identity Organisations:

  • ID2020 Alliance: A coalition of private and public partners, including Microsoft, Gavi, and the Rockefeller Foundation, working to create a global digital identity system.
  • World Bank: Through initiatives like the Identification for Development (ID4D) program, the World Bank supports the development and implementation of digital ID systems in developing countries.

Governments and Public Sector:

  • Indian Government (Aadhaar): One of the largest digital ID systems globally, Aadhaar provides a unique identification number to residents of India.
  • Estonian Government (e-Residency): Estonia offers a digital identity for its e-residents, allowing them to access various services online.

Financial Service Providers:

  • Mastercard: Developing digital ID solutions that integrate with payment systems to enhance security and streamline transactions.
  • Visa: Also investing in digital ID technologies to provide secure, efficient payment solutions.

What are benefits & What are the risks?

Benefits (Claimed)

The benefits espoused by proponents of Digital IDs

International Organisations:

  • World Economic Forum (WEF): The WEF has been a strong advocate for digital identities as part of its broader agenda to shape global digital transformation.
  • United Nations (UN): The UN, through initiatives like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), promotes digital IDs as a means to enhance financial inclusion and global development.

Government Entities:

  • Central Banks: Central banks, particularly those exploring Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), often advocate for digital IDs to streamline financial systems and enhance security.
  • National Governments: Countries like India (with Aadhaar) and Estonia (with their e-residency program) are notable examples of governments pushing digital ID systems to modernize public administration and services.

Technology Companies:

  • Microsoft: Has been involved in developing digital ID solutions and has partnered with the ID2020 Alliance to promote digital identities as a way to provide secure and verifiable forms of identification.
  • IBM: Offers blockchain-based identity solutions aimed at enhancing security and privacy for digital identities.

Financial Institutions:

  • Banks and Financial Services: Institutions like JP Morgan and Mastercard are investing in digital ID technologies to streamline KYC (Know Your Customer) processes and reduce fraud in financial transactions .

Risks & Threats

The likely dangers Digital IDs pose to people and society

Technology Companies:

  • Microsoft: Through initiatives like the Decentralized Identity Foundation, Microsoft is working on creating secure digital identity systems that leverage blockchain technology.
  • IBM: IBM’s blockchain-based solutions are being developed to provide secure, decentralised digital identities.

Global Identity Organisations:

  • ID2020 Alliance: A coalition of private and public partners, including Microsoft, Gavi, and the Rockefeller Foundation, working to create a global digital identity system.
  • World Bank: Through initiatives like the Identification for Development (ID4D) program, the World Bank supports the development and implementation of digital ID systems in developing countries.

Governments and Public Sector:

  • Indian Government (Aadhaar): One of the largest digital ID systems globally, Aadhaar provides a unique identification number to residents of India.
  • Estonian Government (e-Residency): Estonia offers a digital identity for its e-residents, allowing them to access various services online.

Financial Service Providers:

  • Mastercard: Developing digital ID solutions that integrate with payment systems to enhance security and streamline transactions.
  • Visa: Also investing in digital ID technologies to provide secure, efficient payment solutions.

Know The Timeline

Where are we now & how did we get to this point?

1 July 2024 Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Act 2023 comes into effect

The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Act 2023 is the legislation that will be used to enable all Digital Identity related measures.

This legislation is expected to be expanded incessantly to enable new Digital IDs powers and concessions in the same way Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 was rapidly expanded to enable more and more mandates.

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12 May 2024 Something happened
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1 December 2023 Something else happened
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