ontario digital id

Here's everything you need to know about Ontario's new digital ID card

It's about to get a lot easier for Ontarians to prove their identities, with the provincial government announcing today that it will introduce digital identification later this year.

Ontario's Digital ID program is being touted as a way to improve access to online services, an electronic alternative to government-issued identification cards that can be stored in a digital wallet app for smartphones and other digital devices.

Today's announcement came with the public launch of the technology and standards that, according to the government statement, "will build Ontario's digital identity ecosystem." This reveal puts the province among a select list of North American governments to publish details on the principles and technology that will support the implementation of digital IDs.

In short, this marks a significant step towards the first digital IDs being issued later this year.

Kaleed Rasheed, Associate Minister of Digital Government, revealed information about the plan in a discussion with the Council of Canadian Innovators on Ontario's digital future, stating, "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."

"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."

The expected late 2021 launch of the Digital ID program will eliminate plenty of purse-fumbling and wallet losing, but how safe will it be?

Ontario's website for Digital IDs promises increased security over analog card IDs, primarily the ability to shut down your digital ID if your device is lost or stolen. It's anyone's guess where your lost driver's license will end up in card form.

Other features include privacy, like the ability to show a business you are over 18 without telling them your specific age — giving those reviewing IDs only relevant information while sparing personal details.

"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."

Lead photo by

Government of Ontario


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