The Saskatchewan government is considering optional digital identification for residents of the province, with the goal of making government programs more accessible.
“Essentially when someone is applying for some type of government service, they can expedite it. Right now you either have to travel to a government office somewhere for it or if you do it online frequently you’re on hold or you have to wait for a PIN number to come in the mail,” Jim Reiter, minister responsible for SaskBuilds said .
“It’s essentially a photo ID much like a driver’s license, just like we have a hard copy, it would be a digital version of it so people can do those kinds of applications right online,” Reiter added.
The province is currently considering proposals from companies interested in developing the system.
Bluink Ltd. is a firm that is currently exploring possibilities with other provinces and industries.
“They (people) don’t have to go to a service bureau now and bring all their documents and find out they forgot one. They can literally log in online and identify themselves in seconds securely, versus having to get into the car and drive to the service bureau,” Steve Borza, from Bluink Ltd. said.
China is the world leader in digital identification where it is required to access everything from banking to transportation but, Reiter said that’s not the intention here.
“The intent of this is to ease, for those who wish to use it, ease registration for various government programs,” Reiter said.