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Can a Unified Identity Become the Most Valuable and Dangerous Asset Ever Created?

A fragmented individual

One’s identity is a centerpiece of every aspect of his/her life – financial and social standing, health, family welfare, employment, education, etc. Therefore, the recognition and authentication of an individual’s identity, together with associated rights, is becoming a priority for governments around the world.

Identification – whether through civil registries or other national identification systems – has three overarching outcome goals from a development perspective: inclusion and access to essential services (health care, education, electoral rights, financial services, social safety net programs); effective and efficient administration of public services, transparent policy decisions and improved governance.

Even though accessible, robust and verifiable universal ID systems are believed to be crucial for inclusiv ...

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