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.
According to a press release on Monday, the IdentiCAT project was announced today by Jordi Puigneró, minister of Digital Policy and Public Administration, as part of the ministry’s primary objectives, to “qualify and digitally empower Catalan citizens so they may carry out activities with full assurance and security in the digital society of the 21st century.” It also comes as part of the autonomous region of Spain’s blockchain policy announced in June to boost use of the tech within “public authorities and society.”
Dubbed IdentiCAT, the platform will be based on distributed ledger technology (DLT), with the Catalan government acting as the validator for the network. The government will not collect users’ personal data as part of the scheme.
The government said:
“The ‘IdentiCAT’ will be the first digital identity at European level, which will be driven by the public sphere and managed by citizens themselves with the aim of becoming standard use in Catalonia.”
The “self-sovereign” system, the government says, will use apps on mobile devices or or computers to allow citizens to “create and manage their own identities, with full legal effectiveness and privacy.”
As an example, a user may use the ID system to verify they are of legal age without having to provide either the date or the place of birth.
IdentiCAT will be developed to align with the 2014 EU’s elDAS rules on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions. As such, IdentiCAT users will be able to access online services and carry out electronic transactions in any EU member state, the press release indicates.
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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