Govt. moots plan to link digital IDs under proposed 'Federated Digital Identities'
- The government has invited stakeholder comments on a proposal that seeks to establish ‘Federated Digital Identities’ to optimise the number of digital identities needed by a citizen
- It will be done by linking various consumer identification data into a single unique ID for digital transactions such as authentication and eKYC services.
- The proposal is part of the Electronics and IT Ministry’s India Enterprise Architecture 2.0 (IndEA 2.0) framework
Federated Digital Identities(FDIs)
- Under this identity, a citizen’s multiple digital IDs from PAN and Aadhaar to driving licence and passport numbers can be interlinked, stored, and accessed via one unique ID.
- According to Meity, this umbrella digital identity will “empower” the citizen by “putting her in control of these identities and providing her the option of choosing which one to use for what purpose.”
- It would also serve as a key to a registry where all different state and Central identities could be stored.
- Citizens would be able to use this ID “for availing other third-party services through authentication and consented eKYC”.
- The interlinking of digital identities would eliminate the need for repeated verification process
Reasons for creating FDIs
- Cumbersome process for a citizen to interact with govt with multitude of identities
- Ministries and the States also have to create several identities for the same citizen acting in different capacities like student, teacher, farmer, land owner, entrepreneur, customer of a bank, driver, owner of a vehicle, pensioner and so on.
- It was notified as an e-Governance standard by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in October 2018.
- It is a framework that enables the development and implementation of Enterprise Architectures independently and in parallel by all governments and their agencies across India, conforming to the same models and standards.
- Its primary purpose is to help state governments, ministries and departments in the governments at various levels to adopt a structured approach for developing their enterprise architecture.
IndEA 2.0 framework
- It aims to enable the governments and the private sector enterprises to design IT architectures that can span beyond organisational boundaries for delivery of integrated services to consumers
- Apart from a “federated digital identity”, it has also proposed three major architectural patterns for different government agencies.
Proposed Architectural frameworks
- Domain architecture pattern: It would be adopted by Central ministries, or by ministries which deal with concurrent or state subjects, or have substantial funding and involvement of the Central government.
- State architecture pattern: It would be adopted by the state governments,
- InDEA Lite architecture pattern: It has been recommended for adoption by smaller departments of the Central and state governments.
Other such initiatives taken by government
- National Digital Health Blueprint: It is an extension of the National Health Policy of 2017 (formulated to provide universal healthcare to all citizens of India based on digital technologies)
- It is an architectural document for the implementation of the National Health Stack.
- It includes a unified architecture, a set of architectural elements, a five-layered structure of architectural institutional blocks, a Unique Health ID (UHID), privacy and consent control, national portability, electronic health records, appropriate principles and guidelines, and health analytics.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also proposed to be deployed in leveraging health records
- National Health Stack (NHS): It is a digital infrastructure which aims at making the health insurance system more transparent and robust
- It includes a coverage and claims platform for all large health protection schemes, a federated personal health records (PHR) framework, an e-national health registry as a single source of health data, a national health analytics platform, unique digital health ID for all citizens
Benefits of such frameworks
- Elimination of the need of multiple verification
- Ease for citizens in accessing various government schemes and programmes
- Proper coordination between centre and states regarding policies and programmes
- Effective and transparent governance
- Minimum scope for corruption
- Impetus to ‘Digital India’
- Risk of data breach of citizens
- Long implementation procedure as India has humongous population
- Issue of data centres for storing such big amount of sensitive public data
- As India is moving forward with ‘Digital India’ initiative and slowly integrating all its governance aspects on digital mode. It must also pay equal attention to the safety of sensitive personal data of its citizens so that reliability in the government procedure can be ensured