Newfoundland and Labrador working on a pilot program to adopt digital ID

'While the convenience of digital ID for online transactions would be significant for residents of the province, if such information were to be lost, improperly disclosed, or otherwise misused it could cause a great deal of harm,' said NL privacy commissioner Michael Harvey in an emailed statement to CBC.

Newfoundland and Labrador working on a pilot program to adopt digital ID
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Digital Government Minister Sarah Stoodley implied that the use of the vax passport has normalized digital verification of identity. 

According to a report by CBC:

And she [Stoodley] noted that residents now have more experience with the concept, based on use of the NLVaxPass that was employed for proof of vaccination.

"They verified their identity on the app, and then they used that going into restaurants and bars and shopping malls," Stoodley said. 

"So that's something that we've seen now everyone is comfortable with."

Critics, however, are concerned about the security of online identity data in the wake of the federal government's ArriveCan App fiasco. 

"While the convenience of digital ID for online transactions would be significant for residents of the province, if such information were to be lost, improperly disclosed, or otherwise misused it could cause a great deal of harm," said NL privacy commissioner Michael Harvey in an emailed statement to CBC. 

NFLD is not alone in pursuing the digitalization of government ID. Ontario has delayed the implementation of a similar promised program. 

Quebec is developing a digital ID which could integrate facial recognition technology. 

The Alberta government also has a digital ID program called MyAlberta Digital ID to confirm one's identity or access services without paper or a face-to-face visit to a government office.

Saskatchewan pumped the brakes on its digital ID scheme in April after public outcry and online backlash. 

The government of Canada announced a 4-billion-dollar funding program to develop a national digital ID in February and is using private banking partners, like ATB, to move the project forward. The announcement of a national digital ID was made one week after the Trudeau Liberals used the Emergencies Act to seize the bank accounts of peaceful anti-covid restriction protesters in Ottawa. 

Privacy advocates worry the adoption of a national digital ID would lead to a social credit system, making it easier to confiscate the assets and control the finances of future anti-government activists. 

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