Where trust meets digital identity in Canada
Why a digital identity laboratory?
In support of the digital identity ecosystem, several governments and private sector organizations in Canada are collaborating to establish the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework1. This framework includes requirements to promote the use and benefits of digital identity with a standardized level of confidence. It aims to protect the personal information and privacy of individuals whose digital identity is used.
For trust to exist in digital identity, the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework represents only part of the equation: digital identity solutions must still be independently verified and tested by a neutral trusted entity. Ideally, this entity would not be controlled by either the public or the private sector. This trusted entity would provide evaluation, testing and certification services against standards and norms considered useful and valid by the market without being controlled by it.
The sandbox sponsor is an organization who wants to make a digital identity solution available for third party evaluation, testing and integration efforts. Why would an organization want to sponsor a sandbox for a digital identity solution?
Local, provincial and federal governments issue identity credentials. When these become digital, the Laboratory offers governments sponsorship of a sandbox containing the digital identity solution to enable third parties to experiment, test and integrate within a controlled and secure environment. The benefits of leveraging the Laboratory for this purpose is the use of a unique, neutral and dedicated environment offering organizations to discover a collection of different digital identity related solutions.
Similar benefits apply to private sector solution providers. Ultimately, the Laboratory offers sponsors a unique technological showcase, a place to demonstrate solutions at Canada’s premiere digital identity venue, all of this at a fixed, annual and reasonable price.
The subscriber is an organization that wishes to maintain, evolve, protect and maximize its current use of third-party digital ID solutions in a dedicated, high-performance, personalized and optimized technological environment for such work. Why would an organization want such a subscription?
The subscriber can easily create one or more private and personalized instances of solutions hosted at the Laboratory. The subscriber can thus work simultaneously with several solutions from one or more different sponsors at the same time.
The challenge answered by the Lab subscription service is considerable: without a recognized and approved reference implementation, user organizations are left with the risky, complex and costly proposition to build and maintain their own identity solution emulator, or worse, cut corners and use production systems for their integration and testing activities. At the Laboratory, a subscriber has easy access to various digital identity solutions and can drastically reduce the work that previously had to be done upstream without a guarantee of success, all with a monthly subscription at a competitive price.
Evaluation, Testing & Certification Services
As the reliance on digital identity grows, a sponsor, subscriber or a third party wanting to use or advertise a digital identity solution will want to ensure that a solution complies with one or more standards and interoperability with other digital identity components, hence the third component of the Laboratory’s service offering: evaluation, testing and certification services.
The challenge this service category addresses is fundamental to the success of digital identity: how to trust a digital identity solution if its compliance and interoperability are not evaluated and tested by an independent third party?
Independence, neutrality and trust of the operator are crucial to successfully carry out tests and offer certifications of conformity and interoperability, including, in some cases, writing test specifications. In addition to testing and certification services, the Laboratory also offers evaluation services to advise its users for improving the compliance and interoperability of their solutions. Laboratory evaluation, testing and certification services are offered at reasonable and competitive prices.
Why choose the Digital Identity Laboratory of Canada?
As an independent not-for-profit entity, dedicated to providing services to the public and private sectors, the Digital Identity Laboratory of Canada was established with the principles of openness, transparency and sound governance in order to demonstrate the highest level of market neutrality. It offers a full range of evaluation, testing and certification services for digital identity solutions regarding their compliance and interoperability.
The Laboratory was founded by the Digital Identification & Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) and In-Sec-M, two non-profit organizations, the former being responsible for the development and publication of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework and the latter representing the Canadian industry cluster in cybersecurity and digital identity.
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1. Published by the Digital Identification & Authentication Council of Canada (https://diacc.ca).