News Flash: Catalonia Plans Self-Sovereign ID System

Blockchain-based solution will be controlled by individuals but validated by government

The government of Catalonia is developing a decentralized identity platform to enable citizens to demonstrate any required attribute of their identity while keeping the rest of their data private. Underpinned by distributed ledger technology (a blockchain), the “self-sovereign” system will enable citizens to use apps on mobile devices or computers to create and manage their own identities, with full legal effectiveness. The Catalan government said it will act as the validator for the new “IdentiCAT network”, but will not collect users’ personal data.

IdentiCAT has been inspired by initiatives to give citizens more control over their digital identity in Estonia, Finland, Norway and Switzerland, but the government claimed Catalonia will be the first country in which the citizen is the owner, manager and exclusive custodian of their identity and their data in any electronic relationship with the public or private sector.

IdentiCAT will be aligned with the EU’s elDAS rules on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions, according to a report by Coindesk. In theory, this alignment should enable IdentiCAT users to access online services and carry out electronic transactions in any EU member state.

Coindesk reported the Catalan government will launch a tender for the development of the underlying technology, including tools for generating self-sovereign IDs, software that will validate and authenticate the IDs, and a way to technically integrate IdentiCAT with authentication systems currently used by the authorities within the Catalan Open Government Consortium. Once development is complete, IdentiCAT will be deployed and distributed for use by Catalan citizens, public organizations and companies.

For more information, please see the press release from the Catalan Government and the article by Coindesk.