Demoday #21: Digital Identity & Awareness

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When using digital government services, we often leave more data behind than is actually necessary. The municipality of Amsterdam recently completed a pilot with Yivi (formerly IRMA), a safer and more reliable way of logging in that doesn't request or store unnecessary information. During the Transition Day in June, we identified barriers related to the implementation of new electronic identification methods (read the report here). A lack of awareness and knowledge about digital identity and privacy risks were identified as one of the major barriers. In this follow-up session, we continued with the theme of awareness and asked the Amsterdam Smart City network to come up with a “change story” and (start of) a campaign about digital identity.

Setting the scene: urgency for a digital identity in EU/NL

To seize the opportunities of digitisation, it is important that everyone in the Netherlands maintains control over their digital life while ensuring the protection of public values such as privacy, accessibility and security. The Digital Government Act (Wet Digitale Overheid) aims to improve digital government services while ensuring citizens' privacy. An important part of this law is safe and secure logging in to the government using new electronic identification methods (eIDs) such as Yivi. At European level, there are also ambitions to introduce personal EU identification wallets, that enables users to choose and keep track of their identity and data which they share with third parties.

Change story for Digital Identity

From a change management perspective, successful change requires both the technical and people sides. In the case of Digital Identity, the developments on a national and European level provide the Reason for Change. The Technical Side is already (mostly) there: Yivi. However, the People Side of the change is lacking behind. There is a growing group of citizens who feel discomfort with data collection by third parties, but many are not aware of the importance of protecting your own digital identity. Therefore, we started working on the change story around digital identity, with the People Side in mind:

Once upon a time….
We had SO MANY accounts and passwords for different public and private services. For governments services, we used DigiD, which often asks for more data than necessary. Once upon a time, our data was everywhere. We were not in control of our data anymore, with the risk of data misuse.

But then….
The risk of not changing is digital fraud. New European and national legislation is designed to protect citizens. This legislation will lead to less data misuse and freedom of choice. It gives citizens more control over their data.

That’s why…
Yivi gives citizens control over their own data. Based on the principles of simplicity, trust and convenience.

To a happy ending…
In our dream scenario, citizens are in control of their own data through one supported solution (by national government and Europe). We cooperate at an (inter)national level to put citizens’ privacy and convenience first.

And that starts today!
This session had a good mix of participants from both public and private organisations. Business parties, such as Deloitte and Eurofiber, highlighted the importance of continuing the conversation with the private sector and think of a business model. This is necessary to get large cooperations that handle a lot of data, such as, on board too.

On this Demo day, we made a start with the change story. To really start creating more awareness about digital identity, we need to create the story for the user instead of focusing on the technical aspects. What makes digital identity wallets so different than DigiD?

The participants ended the session with formulating a change slogan: your data is and remains yours now!

This question was introduced in the Amsterdam Smart City network by Mike Alders and Frank Willemsen from gemeente Amsterdam. Both sessions were prepared with and moderated by Coen Smit from Royal HaskoningDHV. Nick Rovroy and David Koop from Flatland supported this session with their drawings. Do you have any questions or input for us? Contact me via or leave a comment below.