Singapore digital ID key to new national “Smart Nations” plan
27 September, 2017
category: Digital ID, Government
The dream of creating a robust national Singapore digital ID program will, in the coming months, encompass more government agencies. Authorities in that Asia country are not only planning to test mobile software tokens to bring more security and efficiency to online authentication, but are expanding a service that allows citizens to more easily access government services online.
Singapore’s planned national digital identity program stands as a top infrastructure and technology goal there, alongside such efforts as the spread of electronic payments and “smarter” public transport
Singapore’s planned national digital identity program stands as one of the nation’s top infrastructure and technology goals, alongside such efforts as the spread of electronic payments and “smarter” public transport. During a recent speech, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged the nation to make a “bigger push to truly transform itself into a smart nation,” according to a report in Channel NewsAsia.
Already, consumers in Singapore use SingPass for government transactions. Singapore Personal Access, launched in 2013, enables access to digital services from some 60 government agencies via a single password per user.
The ongoing national digital identity push would take that idea even further.
The Government Technology Agency of Singapore says it will expand a service called MyInfo, which launched in May and relies on digital vault technology to pre-fill online forms for government and private-sector services. That saves users the trouble and time of typing in the same personal data multiple times for different outlets. And over the next six months, the Government Technology Agency will test mobile software tokens, though the scope of that trial was not immediately clear.
Adding value to the Singapore digital ID program
That agency is also working to create value-added services to the national digital identity program that would make it more attractive for private sector use. Such services include digital signatures, building access systems and the secure storage of digital documents. The main challenge? Integration of data, not the deployment of hardware, according to Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore’s minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation initiative.
Singapore hopes to follow in the path of Estonia, the European country typically looked upon as the prime example of going digital with IDs and government, health-care and retail services
Singapore hopes to follow in the path of Estonia, the European country typically looked upon as the prime example of going digital with IDs and government, health-care and retail services. “The Estonians have this,” Lee has said. “There is no reason why we should not have it.”
Singapore has not revealed exactly what form the national Singapore digital ID would take, though analysts and officials have indicated it may involve software-based tokens—hence the six-month test. Officials have said they want the national identity program to be operational in three years.