Catalonia to issue citizens with ‘self sovereign’ digital IDs

The government of Catalonia has announced it will develop a decentralized identity platform aimed to give citizens control of their own data when interacting with online services

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Catalonia, the semi-autonomous region of Spain which includes the city of Barcelona, is to develop an electronic identity platform that “turns the citizen into owner, manager and exclusive custodian of his identity and data”.

 

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The IdentiCAT platform will be based on the concept of Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) and use distributed ledger technology to allow citizens to use a computer or mobile device to create and manage their digital identities “with full legal validity and privacy”.

“In any digital relationship, the citizen can demonstrate any required attribute of his identity while maintaining privacy over the rest of the data contained in his ID,” the Government of Catalonia explains.

This will allow a citizen to provide proof of age, for example, “without needing to provide their date or place of birth”.

IdentiCAT will also be compatible with the European eIDAS standard, enabling citizens to use their eID to securely identify themselves to public and private sector services across Europe, the government says.

The first stage in getting the system up and running will involve the tender of development of the underlying technology, including tools for generating self-sovereign IDs, software that will validate and authenticate the IDs, and a way to technically integrate IdentiCAT with authentication systems currently used by the authorities within the Catalan Open Government Consortium.

Once development is complete, IdentiCAT will be deployed and distributed for use by Catalan citizens, public organizations and companies.

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