Ontario Releases Technology and Standards for Digital Identity

Ontario Releases Technology and Standards for Digital Identity

Province welcomes and encourages private-sector market innovation

September 08, 2021


TORONTO — The Ontario government is publicly launching the technology and standards that will build Ontario’s digital identity ecosystem, which will empower simpler, faster and better access to more convenient and secure online services. As one of the first jurisdictions in North America to publish this information, Ontario continues to demonstrate its commitment to digital and data transparency, and is making progress on becoming a world-leading digital jurisdiction.

When fully launched, Ontario’s Digital ID (identification) will allow people and businesses to prove who they are both online and in person with built-in safety features that protect users’ privacy and personal information. It will be a convenient and easy identification solution that is made with the security and encryption necessary for today’s highly digitized world, which protects personal data while performing secure transactions and accessing online services.

Over time, Ontario’s Digital ID will open up more opportunities for individuals and businesses across all business sectors. This initiative is yet another way that the government is working with the marketplace to support economic growth, new investments and technological innovation.

Today, Kaleed Rasheed, Associate Minister of Digital Government, shared an update on the government’s plan in a virtual conversation with the Council of Canadian Innovators on Ontario’s digital future.

“Openly sharing our technology approach to digital identity is an essential step in our plan to provide more convenient, private and secure ways to prove who you are,” said Minister Rasheed. “Today’s announcement responds directly to what we continue to hear from sector partners, stakeholders and the public – Ontario’s approach to technology needs to be ambitious, innovative and transparent.”

Ontario’s Digital ID will use emerging technology standards and, wherever possible, publicly available open source solutions. Key principles that will underpin Ontario’s digital identity program include compliance with current industry standards and laws, including Ontario’s Digital Service Standard and Anti-Racism Data Standards.

“Our Ontario Onwards: Action Plan first announced our government’s goal to make Ontario the most advanced digital jurisdiction in the world – all in the service of the people of this province,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “The release of Ontario’s Digital ID later this year will be an exciting step towards transforming and modernizing government services in an increasingly digital world.”

Quick Facts

  • Ontario will launch a Digital ID for Ontarians later this fall, the first step towards safer, more secure ways to prove who you are online.
  • When fully mature, the digital ID ecosystem of Ontario is estimated to be worth $20 billion. This estimate is calculated from about 35 value drivers and hundreds of data points from various sources such as DIACC, McKinsey Global Institute and World Economic Forum.
  • Over the past nine months, the Province consulted with 68 organizations, more than 100 industry experts and held five two-hour roundtable discussions on digital identity.
  • To develop its digital identity strategy in a way that allows for cross-Canadian standards, Ontario is working collaboratively across the public sector to ensure alignment to standards and interoperability.
  • Privacy is a core principle of Ontario’s Digital ID and is being considered in all aspects of the program and technology. Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner continues to be engaged to help inform and guide this work.