The global movement in support of “good ID” advanced another step today as ID2020 announced ZAKA as its third “certified” digital ID solution.
Most of us take the ability to prove our identity for granted. But for one in seven people globally, the lack of a widely recognized form of ID means being unable to access basic legal protections and social services and being unable to participate fully as citizens and voters. Worldwide, more than one billion people are systematically excluded from the modern economy because they lack any form of formal ID.
In 2019, ID2020 announced plans to launch the first certification mark for digital ID at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The Certification recognizes solutions that adhere to ID2020’s stringent standards for user-management, privacy-protection, portability, and interoperability and offers technology companies a roadmap for the development of ethical, inclusive digital ID.
To be eligible for certification, applicants must adhere to 41 functional, outcomes-based Technical Requirements. To date, 29 technology providers from every corner of the globe have submitted applications and worked with our staff and advisory committees to complete the process. In March, ID2020 announced its first two certified solutions, Kiva Protocol and Gravity. Today, ZAKA joins this esteemed community of technology providers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust digital ID technology into the headlines as countries around the world consider plans for digital health credentials and technology-assisted contact tracing. There has never been more urgency to “get the technology right”.
“Digital ID can be a powerful force multiplier for global social and economic development, but it can also be used to exclude people or even persecute vulnerable populations like refugees, children, and the homeless,” said ID2020 Executive Director, Dakota Gruener. “As governments and businesses rush to adopt digital ID solutions, the ID2020 Certification is proving a valuable tool for those who are developing user-centric, privacy-protecting solutions to meet the needs of all people.”
The Certification also provides a third-part seal of approval so that those implementing and using these technologies know that they were developed according to the highest ethical and technical standards and with full consideration of both the benefits and risks.
This market-based approach is already shifting the technical landscape and several multinational technology providers have adapted their technical approaches to comply with ID2020’s Technical Requirements.
Based in the UK, ZAKA is committed to the idea that any person, with any phone, should be able to access any service, at any time. Like ID2020, ZAKA shares the perspective that, in an increasingly connected world, digital trust is an essential enabler of thriving economies.
ZAKA’s mobile app and software development kit (available in Android, iOS and USSD) helps individuals to build a set of verifiable digital credentials that are private, secure and portable, allowing them to connect with services such as mobile health, financial services, and education. And for service providers, ZAKA’s web dashboard allows them to configure their digital trust requirements and roll-out the solution to remotely verify and onboard customers. This allows services to concentrate on developing and distributing high-quality services, rather than be held back by high distribution and customer acquisition costs. ZAKA has also developed proprietary voice biometric technology which can be deployed together with, or separately from, it’s Apps.
In recent months, ZAKA has also extended its solution to support the response to, and recovery from, COVID-19. Their NewNorm™️ service is now being used by universities, employers, and event organizers to support a safe return to the “new normal”.
“We are delighted to receive the ID2020 Certification,” said ZAKA CEO and Co-Founder Nick Mason. “We expect a great return on our investment of time and resources in this process and look forward to using the ID2020 certification to set ZAKA apart from our competition. The rigorous evaluation of our company by ID2020 should give prospective partners confidence that our solution is meeting global standards and advancing the vital mission of bringing “good ID” to all.”
ZAKA is already implementing their its technology in Turkey, Rwanda, and the United States.
In partnership with the United Nations Development Program and led by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ZAKA is helping refugees obtain verifiable digital ID credentials that are portable and owned by them. Refugees can use these credentials to connect with services in a dedicated marketplace for services that support their self-sufficiency. Through the app, refugees can also receive promotional information from their chosen services about beneficial opportunities.
In Rwanda, ZAKA is working in partnership with the utility regulator, Airtel, and other private and public partners to implement a solution that leverages voice biometrics for remote customer verification. This can be used by banks, telcos, and healthcare providers to serve rural customers, whether they own a smartphone or feature phone.
Here in the United States, ZAKA’s COVID-19 status tracking solution, NewNorm™️, is helping employees and customers be safe in the “new normal”. This is being used by two New York University departments that have returned students, staff, and faculty to on-site instruction.
Based in San Francisco, ID2020 harnesses the collective power of nonprofits, corporations, and governments to promote the adoption and implementation of responsibly implemented, user-managed, privacy-protected, and portable digital identity solutions.
Through its advocacy, project funding, technical support, and now by certifying best-in-class identity solutions, ID2020 is helping build the infrastructure needed to strengthen social and economic development and ensure that all of the world’s seven billion people can fully exercise their basic human rights and reap the benefits of economic empowerment.