The government of Catalonia announced its plans to build an identity system which gives its citizens control over their data while meeting EU guidelines.
September 09, 2019, | AtoZ Markets - Catalan government has announced its plans to launch a new project to create a decentralized and self-sovereign identity (SSI) for citizens based on distributed ledger technology (DLT).
President Quim Torra and Minister of Digital Policies and Administration Jordi Puigneró announced the project named IdentiCAT on Saturday, according to a press release. Notably, the government says it will allow citizens to be the “owner, manager and exclusive custod[ian] of his identity and data”.
Catalan decentralized ID System an ideal way to empower citizens
The IdentiCAT project is a part of the government’s Blockchain Strategy that aims to boost Self-Sovereign Digital Identity and blockchain technology within public authorities and society. The government of Catalonia believes that the application of DLT in the system provides a secure, immutable, resilient and unchangeable layer.
Citizens using IdentiCAT through mobile apps or computer devices will reportedly be able to create and manage their own identities, with full legal effectiveness and privacy. Furthermore, the government will only act as a validator of the system and will not collect users’ personal data.
For example, a citizen may use the digital ID platform to verify they are of legal age without having to provide either the date or the place of birth.
“It is time to make the fifth power real: citizen empowerment’, as contained in the Catalan Government Plan of the 12th parliamentary term, aimed towards improving governance, by promoting ‘fully digital citizenship, providing citizens with empowerment, training and protection’,” Minister Puigneró said.
IdentiCAT project to be the first digital ID in Europe
IdentiCAT will be developed to comply with the EU's elDAS regulations, which aim to guarantee mutual recognition and acceptance of electronic transactions between EU countries and provide a legal framework for their use in other member states. As such, citizens can be able to access online services and process electronic transactions in any EU Member State using IdentiCAT.
“IdentiCAT intends to be the first digital identity in Europe, which will be driven by the public sphere and self-managed by citizens themselves with full legal guarantee and effectiveness to operate not only with public authorities, but also with private entities, thus fully ensuring compliance with personal data protection regulations,” the press release indicates.
The first stage of the IdentiCAT project will kick off this week with the tender of development of the underlying technology, which includes the development of tools for generating self-sovereign IDs, software that will validate and authenticate the IDs, and integrating IdentiCAT with the current systems used by the public within the Catalan Open Government Consortium.
The subsequent phase will see the deployment and dissemination of IdentiCAT among citizens, public organizations and companies. Meanwhile, Sierra Leone has also made plans to fully adopt a blockchain-enabled national identity system by the end of this year.
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