UN: Digital ID Provides Broader Support for Inclusive Economic Development

UN Digital Cooperation Report 2018

The United Nation High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation has released a new tech report on Monday (10/06). The report explores the ways that digital technology can help achieve the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this report, panel members also pushed a recommendation to create an inclusive digital economy and society, which can be achieved by developing a Digital Identification (ID) system.

Data provided by the World Bank revealed that more than a billion people today lack an official way to prove their identity. This means that they may not be able to vote, open a bank account, transact online, or access public services. Digital ID can support inclusive economic development more broadly, as they have the capability to improve human rights of data privacy and enable access to financial and social services.

Additionally, the consulting firm McKinsey recently studied seven large countries. They found that Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, and the United States in 2017. McKinsey later concluded that digital ID systems could add between 3 and 13% to their gross domestic product.

Melinda Gates, Jack Ma, and António Guterres

Co-Chairs of United Nations’ High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation Melinda Gates and Jack Ma discuss how digital cooperation and technology can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals with UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Panel members highlighted that Digital ID have immense potential to improve delivery of social services, especially for people who currently lack legal identity, but they are also vulnerable to abuse. As digital ID becomes more prevalent, principles for a fair and effective use of Digital ID must be emphasised and implemented.

Download the full report here.

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