Digital Identities

Design and Uses

A project of the Centre for Internet and Society, India
Supported by Omidyar Network India

Decision Guide

This Decision Guide seeks to serve as a valuable resource when making decisions about a proposed digital ID system. For this, we need a shared vocabulary to understand and critically analyse all aspects of digital ID systems. Through a preliminary study of existing identity systems, we have arrived at this core set of concepts and processes that mark a digital ID system.

Governing ID: Principles for Evaluation

As governments across the globe implement new and foundational digital identification systems (Digital ID), or modernize existing ID programs, there is an urgent need for more research and discussion about appropriate uses of Digital ID systems. This momentum toward Digital ID has been accompanied with concerns about privacy, surveillance and exclusion harms of state-issued Digital IDs in several parts of the world, resulting in campaigns and litigations in countries, such as UK, India, Kenya, and Jamaica. Given the sweeping range of considerations required to evaluate Digital ID projects, it is necessary to formulate evaluation frameworks that can be used for this purpose.

Exploratory Research Maps

Exploratory Research Maps are a result of our global survey of digital identity systems. Read together with the glossary of core concepts and processes, these maps provide a coherent view of digital identity in one country. They shine a light on the pervasiveness of digital identity, as well as dissect digital identity systems in a way that brings attention to the actions of key stakeholders, and to kinds of data and how they are shared. Designed as stepping stones to further research, the maps facilitate the identification of points of accountability and intervention.

Mapping Digital ID Systems: Nigeria India United Kingdom Estonia

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Digital ID in Africa


20.01.2021 In Flux Podcast

13.09.2019 Core Concepts and Processes

26.07.2019 Research Plan