Experts highlight digital identity benefits, challenges - Mobile World Live

Experts highlight digital identity benefits, challenges

30 OCT 2018

LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 SERIES – RUSSIA & CIS, MOSCOW: Singapore and China have very different strategies towards creating a digital identity for their citizens and both offer lessons for other countries, explained Huawei CTO Paul Scanlan (pictured, centre).

In Singapore, a “multi layered approach” of systems gives a person an identity the moment they are born and uses this to grant them access to services across all industries throughout their life.

Its policies are implemented step-by-step in a prescriptive manner which involves a lot of analysis and think thanks, and it is also using elements of blockchain to achieve this, stated Scanlan in a panel session.

Meanwhile in China the government has a more ad hoc “liberal approach, strange as it may seem”, where it offers digital services through popular messaging app WeChat.

It works on a trial and error basis and easily has the power to shut down a service if it finds something isn’t working. It then has the chance to understand what went wrong and why, and perhaps try to fix it.

Trust is an important factor and citizens trust WeChat as well as operators, noted Scanlan.

Serge Llorente, Orange Group’s Mobile Connect director (pictured, right), explained that in France it’s not just the trust customers have in operators, but also a strong relationship of operators and the government which has allowed for the creation of France Connect. This service gives users access to 400 public services via a single verification process.

As for Russia implementing something similar, Ruslan Ibragimov, VP for corporate and legal affairs at MTS (pictured, left) said there were many challenges. This include setting up a regulatory framework, agreeing what methods of identification will be legally acceptable and how to process big data without abusing it.

Another issue was artificial intelligence (AI): “we realise the role of AI will be great in processing data but what next…who is responsible for harm done as a result of AI?”

Russia is discussing these issues and by early 2020 Ibragimov expects the government will adopt “some 70 bills or items of legislature to cover this area”.



Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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