Verifying ID & accessing profile data of people, entities, & objects is a crucial foundational function of digital economies. When moving from physical to digital interactions, the first complication is establishing trust as to the identity of the counterparty. It is crucial that this identity is verifiable: i.e. can be authenticated in some means (a mobile one time password, a digitally signed QR code, a biometric fingerprint scan, or even a face ID authentication).
A country should have multiple identities to fulfill multiple purposes and functions across sectors - but one or more of them should provide a foundational capability of authenticating that the individual is who they say they are, and returning a few commonly required data fields (such as name, gender, date of birth, and address) via an open API. Functional identities (such as voter IDs, social protection IDs, or drivers licenses) should also strive to make their profile data accessible via APIs or through other digitally native means.
An identity system is a registry of persons. Countries also need foundational registries of entities (such as businesses, hospitals, schools, etc.) to allow sector-specific digital service providers to innovate based on shared datasets. These registries should provide digitally signed data - to ensure it is tamper proof - and preferably via open APIs (and prevent clunky PDF or excel downloads) to ensure software can directly consume the information. This greatly enhances the speed of service delivery and the competition across sector specific market players.
Key examples of building blocks in this category of DPIs include:
Authentication (Mobile, Offline QR Code based, Biometric, Face, etc)