According to a press release issued by the government of Catalonia on September 9, the government plans on developing a decentralized identity platform that will give their citizens greater control of their own data whenever they interact with online services.
The IdentiCAT project was officially announced on September 7 and was a joint announcement between the minister of Digital Policy and Public Administration Jordi Puignero and President Quim Torra.
What makes this a unique venture is that only the citizens would have access to the data. The government would not have access whatsoever, unless granted by the individual, according to the release.
Bidding has currently started on the development of the project, which is expected to be completed by the year 2020. It is expected that the price to develop the platform will be €550,000 ($607,000).
There will be many great benefits to the IdentiCAT system. It starts with the fact that individual citizens will be able to choose which information will be accessible to government officials, and for how long. It will also give them the ability to store a portion of it and allow them to determine whether that information can be shared with third parties, such as hospitals, utilities, etc.
In addition, the system will be available to Catalonians who are residing within the country and those who are abroad. President Torra explained, “Now it’s time to lead the digital revolution. We speak of an entrepreneurial society that is attentive to social novelties and innovations. The aim of this government is to put people at the center of their policies, also the digital ones.”
This system will be the first of its kind in Europe. The press release explained that “The ‘IdentiCAT’ will be the first digital identity at European level, which will be driven by the public sphere and managed by citizens themselves with the aim of becoming standard use in Catalonia.”
The ultimate objective of the new platform will be to give citizens a secure system using blockchain technology that will also give them total control over their own data. This gives the citizens of Catalonia the ability to control their own information, something that Puignero feels is vital.
“Some will want to question the project because they may be scared to empower people, let’s be a country moving forward. Because they know that when we empower people we are an unstoppable country. The republic we want is one that empowers citizens, not that it controls them, represses them or treats them as digital merchandise.”
A similar idea is already being employed in the capital of Argentina. This new blockchain-based digital identity platform was announced on August 26 and is the collaboration of the government of Buenos Aires, NEC, and IDB Labs which will help to track information to assist those in need of greater levels of government service.
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