Catalan Government to Launch Decentralized ID System for Citizens

Government announced its plans to build a Catalan decentralized ID system which gives its citizens control over their data while meeting EU guidelines. 

The article was updated on 02 February, 2020 by Amicus.

09 September, 2019 | AtoZ MarketsCatalan 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. It aims to boost Self-Sovereign Digital Identity and blockchain technology within public authorities and society. The government of Catalonia also believes that the application of DLT in the system provides a secure, immutable, resilient and unchangeable layer.

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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. They don’t have to provide either the date or the place of birth. Minister Puigneró said:

It is time to make the fifth power real: citizen empowerment’ contained in the Catalan Government Plan of the 12th parliamentary term. It also aimed towards improving governance, by promoting ‘fully digital citizenship, providing citizens with empowerment, training and protection.”

IdentiCAT Project To Be the First Digital ID in Europe

IdentiCAT will be developed to comply with the EU’s elDAS regulations. It also aims to guarantee mutual recognition and acceptance of electronic transactions between EU countries. Moreover, it will provide a legal framework for their use in other member states. As such, citizens can be able to access online services and electronic process transactions in any EU Member State using IdentiCAT.

IdentiCAT intends to be the first digital identity in Europe. It will be driven by the public sphere and self-managed by citizens themselves. It iwll give full legal guarantee and effectiveness to operate not only with public authorities, but also with private entities. Thus, it also give fully ensuring compliance with personal data protection regulations,” the press release indicates.

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The first stage of the IdentiCAT project will kick off this week. The project is with the tender of development of the underlying technology. It also 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. It want fully adopt a blockchain-enabled national identity system by the end of this year.

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