Happy International Identity Day everyone!
It started as an initiative It started as an initiative from ID4Africa in 2018, an NGO that accompanies African nations on their journeys to develop robust and responsible identity ecosystems in the service of development and humanitarian action.
According to the World Bank Group’s 2018 ID4D Global Dataset, 1 billion people worldwide face challenges in proving who they are because they lack official proof of their identity. This creates a huge challenge of inclusivity as these people are unable to access essential government services, banking, healthcare, education, and other basic opportunities simply because they are unable to prove who they are. It is important that governments, organisations, and individuals work together to accelerate identity verification of citizens, giving them access to basic rights, but also, for governments to be able to create fully inclusive societies, deliver their services effectively and efficiently and build their economic growth.
To realise their full economic and personal potential, people in developing nations need ways to prove that they are who they say they are. Only in this way they can open bank accounts, access healthcare, education, vote, travel, etc. and participate fully in both the on- and offline economies.
But there is also another angle to look at. Not only do we face the gap with a 1 billion people without an identity, but also with many whose identity documents are insecure, untrusted by service providers or unsuitable for digitalisation. These individuals can be a primary target for identity theft, and it is equally important to protect them.
A recent survey found that 28% of consumers worldwide had suffered identity theft at some point . And that identity theft now costs the victim an average of $1,000, and many hours, to put right . These costs are not something that consumers in developing markets can — or should have to — bear. Not only are they massively unfair to individual victims. They are also a barrier to economic development in countries that are straining every sinew to give their citizens a better life — and do not need any extra barriers to fulfilling that goal.
That is why recognising the International Identity Day is so important. It does not just raise awareness of the significant role identity plays in empowering individuals to participate fully in society. The organisation behind the day has built a coalition of partners dedicated to ensuring that everyone, worldwide, has a legally recognised, secure, and protected identity, in accordance with UN Sustainable Development Goal 16.9, by 2030.
At FacePhi, we are immensely proud to join the International Identity Day movement and celebrate the 16th of September. For over ten years we have been working closely with governments and organisations to develop and deliver robust and secure biometric-based digital identity verification solutions. We strongly support and promote the right of individuals to exercise their identity as a means to access basic services within inclusive identity frameworks, while protecting the privacy of their personal data. In this sense, we are fully committed to the cause and support ID4Africa’s noble historic mission.