Government of Canada announces partnership with the European Commission to examine the use of digital credentials

OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 22, 2021 /CNW/ – Digital technology is changing how we access information, work, and connect with each other. With more of our interactions taking place online than ever before, the need for efficient and secure digital services is growing. Governments and businesses are looking to leverage new technology to meet this need, while ensuring that trust is maintained and privacy is protected.

That is why the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, today announced a partnership between the Government of Canada and the European Commission to examine the use of digital credentials. A digital credential is a portable digital record of a claim made by a business, an organization or an individual. It can be held in and shared through a digital wallet, serving as a digital representation of traditionally physical certificates or information, like driver’s licences or business permits. 

The Minister announced that Canada and the European Commission have started to explore digital credentials through a series of workshops, with the objectives of:

  • examining the current technology and policy landscapes of both jurisdictions regarding digital credentials;
  • identifying areas of commonality that could be built upon and gaps that need to be addressed; and 
  • enabling interoperability and mutual support for digital credentials.  

Findings and recommendations stemming from these discussions are summarized in the report entitled Canada and the European Union Joint Workshop Series for Enabling Interoperability and Mutual Support for Digital Credentials.

Going forward, Canada and the European Commission, along with an expanded group of countries, will work to address the recommendations set out in the report and will collaborate on digital credentials research and innovation.

Digital credentials aim to increase security, efficiency, privacy and accessibility for individuals, businesses and organizations operating online. These goals directly align with the principles of Canada’s Digital Charter, particularly control and consent, safety and security, universal access, and open and modern digital government. The Government of Canada is working to leverage the power of digital and data transformation while also protecting Canadians’ privacy and personal data.

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