Anil John
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Anil John

DIACC Launches in Canada

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This week marks an important milestone for north american digital services with the official launch of the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC). I am a big fan of the measured, understated, collaborative and whole-of-government manner in which the Canadians move their identity efforts forward, and this is a classic demonstration of that approach.

The DIACC’s objective is to unlock economic opportunities for Canadian consumers, and businesses by providing the framework to develop a robust, secure, scalable and privacy enhancing digital identification and authentication ecosystem that will decrease costs for governments, consumers, and business while improving service delivery and driving GDP growth.

Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC)

It is important to note that this is set up as a public-private partnership with a board of directors that includes Federal and Provincial Government representatives as well extensive representation from the banking and telecommunication sectors. The only person I recognize from that list is Pierre Boucher, the CIO of Public Works and Government Services Canada, who I consider to be one of the most visionary and effective public sector leaders in this space. If the other folks are of the same caliber, this organization has definitely set themselves up for success.

This effort will, of course, be ignored, minimized or otherwise down-played by the U.S. based vendor community and the identerati in general. After all, the DIACC seems to be starting small and focusing on delivering value rather than throwing large sums of money around, providing a path for vendors to sell their services to government, or talking about the latest bright and shiny protocols. Shocking!

Why am I personally interested in this? There is, of course, the perspective of someone who is married to a Canadian and have kids who are dual citizens. But at the end of the road, it all comes down my avid interest in hiking and backpacking.

You see, I have this federated identity dream. One day, I will be able to go the Parks Canada Reservation Service to make a back-country reservation at Banff National Park.

I will, instead of using a GCKey credential, use a credential issued to me by a commercial CSP approved by the U.S. Government. And because of trusted and interoperable connectivity between U.S. and Canadian identity infrastructures, I will be able to assert my identity and associated information in a manner that allows me to seamlessly make that reservation online at Parks Canada.

So to me, the launch and success of the DIACC is all about moving a step closer to my dream of getting away from it all! :-)


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This blog post first appeared on Anil John | Blog ( The opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent my employer’s view in any way.

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