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Mastercard and Microsoft work on plan to create “digital identities”

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Mastercard has announced a new partnership with Microsoft, together the companies are working on a plan to develop “digital identities,” according to an article published by Fast Company.

Mastercard published a social media post in which they suggest the digital identities could be used for voting, driving, applying for a job, renting a home, getting married, and boarding a plane.

Cale Guthrie Weissman of Fast Company wrote:

What this announcement seems to be describing is a streamlined identification system: a not-too-far-off world where people are identified under a universal protocol that checks in on them at various points during their lives–when they vote, when they get married, etc. It’s the kind of a citizen-check system a totalitarian regime could only dream of.

Already, countries have begun implementing identification systems that seem ripped from an Orwell novel. India, for example, has a program that scans citizens’ fingerprints and eyes, which connects all of their personal data (from cellphone information to government benefits) into one state-controlled apparatus. China, too, is planning to use a country-wide citizen identification system that would give people “social credit” scores about the way they behave. These systems have been met with significant outcry about privacy and digital rights.

“Today’s digital identity landscape is patchy, inconsistent and what works in one country often won’t work in another,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, cyber and intelligence solutions, Mastercard.

The New Zealand Government recently announced that it is committing $15.5 million to research about digital identity and how New Zealanders are recognized online, BizEdge reported.

Government Digital Services Minister Megan Woods announced the funding this week, aligning with NZTech’s new digital identity organisation called Digital Identity NZ.

(Crusader Journal Staff)

 

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