As we commemorate International Identity Day in 2023, we reflect on the evolving landscape of digital identity and its profound impact on our lives. Last year, we discussed the need for inclusive identity solutions in “International Identity Day: The Need for Inclusion by Design.” This year, we continue this crucial conversation with a focus on enabling access.

With increasing conflicts, such as the crisis in Ukraine, and the devastating effects of climate change leading to famine, fires, and floods, more people find themselves displaced and in need of secure identities that grant them access to essential services and opportunities. The need for identity solutions that transcend borders and cultures has never been more evident − identity must serve as a bridge rather than a barrier.

However, as we strive for identity done right, we must also confront the escalating challenges brought about by the digital age. Artificial intelligence (AI) and deep fake technologies have blurred the lines between reality and deception. Synthetic identity fraud is on the rise, posing a significant threat to individuals and organizations alike.

In this ever-evolving landscape, the importance of identity protection and verification cannot be overstated. Encryption with high assurance identity verification can help ensure identities are robustly secured against fraudulent activities. However, there’s another looming threat on the horizon: quantum computing, which will break conventional cryptography. Bad actors are already on the prowl with “harvest now, decrypt later” attacks.

Interoperability emerges as another key theme in the quest for equal access to identity. We must strive to create identities that are not confined by geographical boundaries or fragmented by siloed systems. Imagine a world where your identity is as universal as your fingerprint is unique – a world where your digital identity seamlessly carries across local and international borders.

The European Union’s Digital Identity initiative stands as a testament to the potential of governments stepping up to facilitate secure and interoperable identity solutions. By championing such initiatives, governments play a key role in shaping the identity landscape for the betterment of society.

Yet in a landscape where governments may lag in their response, the role of big tech corporations like Apple becomes increasingly significant. They possess the technological prowess and global reach to foster transformation in identity ecosystems. We must consider the responsibilities and opportunities that lie with these industry leaders…and hold them accountable.

So, on this International Identity Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to inclusive and accessible identity. In a world where access to services, opportunities, and safety is vitally important, we must ensure that identities are a force for inclusion and empowerment. To achieve this, we must address the challenges of identity protection, embrace interoperability, and engage in constructive dialogue with both governments and technology leaders. By working together, we can harness the potential of identity to create a more inclusive and secure world.

At Entrust, we remain committed to driving these conversations and innovating secure, interoperable, and inclusive identity solutions that truly enable access for all.