When they are finally established, U.S. digital IDs will likely be based on smartphones and biometrics, U.S. Congressman Bill Foster, the author of the ‘Improving Digital Identity Act,’ which is currently before Congress with bi-partisan sponsorship, said in an ID2020 webinar.
The webinar, the closing session in ID2020’s ‘Summit Series,’ was moderated by Blythe Masters, CEO of Digital Asset Holdings and an ID2020 Board Member.
Foster referred to his background in physics, business, and integrated circuit design, and Masters noted his leadership on digital identity in the introduction.
The importance of digital identity for financial services, life online and COVID-19 responses is reflected in increasing Congressional attention, such as hearings on the topic by the Financial Services Committee’s Taskforce on Artificial Intelligence, which Foster is Chair of.
Foster discussed the need for secure digital identity to back a wide range of services, including any digital immunity certificates that might be established.
Authentication for access to medical records seems to be a more pressing concern for Foster, and proving the identity of prospective voters at polling locations could strengthen another area of major contemporary concern in America.
Central bank digital assets and digital currencies will significantly drive digital identity efforts in the coming years, Foster says, noting that the most secure blockchain in the world has no value for this type of application if people are operating on it with fraudulent identities. The underbanked population within the U.S. has also gained attention due to the challenges posed distributing pandemic stimulus payments, and Foster suggests the U.S. is more sensitive to the need for digital identity to help address anti money-laundering (AML) and corruption concerns than it has been in the past.