Will ID verification ever be able to truly cross borders?

Global ID verification is becoming a natural expectation in our world today, but are digital passports really a necessity for the global marketplace? Share your views and get involved.

Yes, says George, The Fraud Prevention Guru

It’s fair to say the world is, on the face of it, getting smaller year by year. Like it or not, we all now live, work and play, in an online global village.

Thanks to our mobilised, digital world, we’re all connected, we’re all transacting on a daily basis and as a result, we all need to be able to assert and verify our identities. Therefore, to be able to continue to develop out globalised community, we all need viable digital passports and the ability to verify IDs across borders. It’s not really a big ask and not beyond the demands of innovation. In fact the European Union is already en-route to creating the digital single market.

In November, the EU agreed the final stages of new laws to make online public services more efficient and more secure across the continent. It’s part of a drive to make online cross-border interactions for citizens and businesses seamless, reliable and secure.

To help this, Member States have agreed to set up a system that will allow people to use a digital identity verified in one country to access public services in other European states. For instance, a UK user may choose to verify their identity with their GOV.UK Verify account to prove they are who they say they are to, say, the Danish tax authorities, making it easier to file your tax return should they live or work there. When a user wants to access a service in a different country to the one that has verified their identity, those two countries’ identity assurance services will need to be able to trust and talk to each other securely.

The EU has already passed a regulation that sets out the rules of how this will work.  It is underpinned by the fundamental belief that everyone should have the ability to prove their identity in both the online and offline world. Everyone should be included in the benefits that the digital world can bring in terms of speed of service, convenience and the ability to access the right, and best, services for every individual.

In time, the ability to verify an individual’s identity anywhere on the globe will simply become a mandatory expectation.

No, says Penny, The Identity Verification Master

Right now we’re still a very long way off from what’s being predicted. As it stands the planet’s slew of differing ID verifications standards simply won’t work together.

There are numerous and very different verification standards in place from one country to the next – and even from one business to the next.

Ensuring robust safeguards against ID theft are in place is an absolute and critical priority. There are big questions around the viability, consistency and reliability of Continental identity standards.

It’s also fair to say there’s going to be cultural unease about creating valid cross-border identities.

Just how safe will our virtual identities be? Outside of the EU, will every country be able to offer the same level of security? Who becomes liable if there’s a breach of data and wide scale ID theft? Users also run the risk of getting lost in translation because of course there are the vast nuances of language and its interpretation when it comes to validating an overseas identity.

Irrespective of the concerns, it’s a mission the EU is committed to.