News Flash: Call for Consistent and Comprehensive Digital ID

The Governor of the Bank of England makes case for robust digital identification

A consistent and comprehensive approach to digital identification is key to unlocking many of the opportunities arising from the emerging digital financial system, according to the Governor of the Bank of England. Speaking at a roundtable event hosted by the Bank on Monday 28 January, Mark Carney said: “One of the bigger decisions that needs to be made over the course of several years is around digital identification and the forms of digital identification that people will use.”

He suggested that a robust digital identification system would help provide the necessary protections online, while noting that there are issues around privacy and property rights that need to be resolved. He also acknowledged the long running debate in the UK around whether people should be issued with identity cards.

“It is a not a decision obviously for the bank,” Carney stressed. “It is a much broader decision that needs to be very carefully thought through and debated.” He also suggested that any move to adopt a single digital identification system in the UK would need to be supported be education to help citizens understand the ramifications. “Given the pace of change, these issues become more and more important,” Carney added.

The Governor made the remarks during a wide-ranging discussion that touched on bank closures, usage of cash, crypto-currencies, privacy and traceability.

The comments about digital identification start 40 minutes into this video posted by the Bank of England.