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Digital Identity: The Missing Piece of the Government’s Exit Strategy

– Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

In this report for the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Andrew Bennett considers how a robust digital identity system could support governments in their efforts to move on with life during, and after, the COVID-19 pandemic

Bennett makes a series of suggestions for government officials to heed in order to implement digital tools like contact tracing, that preserve user control, interoperability of systems, and other best practices.

“Digital identity infrastructure is a fundamental part of making sure government delivers for citizens in the 2020s. For Covid-19 specifically, it provides leaders with the optionality required to navigate an unpredictable, evolving situation.”

Bennett argues that while the need for robust digital identity systems is clear to deal with the pandemic moving forward, and limit the extensiveness of future outbreaks, it can support re-opening of borders and economies only when implemented with best principles in mind.

But building an effective containment architecture, including digital identity, requires as careful an approach to governance as anything technical. Strict guardrails, accompanied by robust mechanisms for accountability and redress, must be in place to secure public consent

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