Digital identity can be defined as a set of information that identifies and authenticates a person efficiently and reliably in the digital space. It is a pillar in the development of the digital economy and in the digital transformation of societies. This is why many countries have introduced or plan to introduce digital identities for their citizens: according to the United Nations and the World Bank, every individual in the world will have, by 2030, their own legal identity. This Panel aims to present the state of play in the development of digital identity systems in Africa and in the Middle East - especially those relying on the massive use of biometrics - and to discuss how Governments leverage such systems to enable inclusive access to public and private services without compromising individuals' human rights - especially the rights to privacy and personal data protection.
What is the state of art in digital identity systems? Do they all rely on the use of biometrics?
What is the landscape of the use of digital identity systems in Africa and in the Middle East, and what are their benefits for citizens and governments?
What are the challenges raised by these systems with regards to human rights in general, and privacy and personal data protection in particular?
What are the safeguards each stakeholder should put in place to leverage digital identity systems without compromising individuals' privacy?