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Facebook joins the ID2020 Alliance

By Shannon Williams
Tue 31 Aug 2021

Tech giant Facebook has announced it has officially joined the ID2020 Alliance.

ID2020 is a global public-private partnership with a commitment to shape the future of digital ID.

The initiative aims to ensure that technologies are designed and implemented in ways that are privacy-protecting, user-controlled, equitable, and interoperable.

"ID2020 is an open and transparent alliance a coalition of the willing," says ID2020 executive director Dakota Gruener. 

"We welcome partners that commit in earnest to upholding the values and principles outlined in the ID2020 Manifesto and that share our mission to improve lives through good digital ID," he says. 

"We could not be more pleased to welcome Facebook to our rapidly growing community," Gruener adds.

Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook gives people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Its services, including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, among others, are used by billions of people worldwide. 

According to the platform, Facebook is joining the ID2020 Technical Advisory Committee to learn and build on standards for digital ID that are secure and privacy-centric.

Founded in 2016, ID2020 develops principles and standards, certifies best-in-class solutions, and advocates for the ethical development and implementation of digital ID technologies. 

ID2020 is a global public private partnership founded by Gavi, The Rockerfeller Foundation, Accenture, Microsoft and IDEO with other high profile members such as Mastercard and Mercy Corps. Key goals include ensuring that individuals control their own digital identities, that IDs are privacy-preserving and interoperable.

"Alliance partners share a commitment to a future in which all of the worlds nearly eight billion people can exercise their basic human rights and reap the benefits of economic empowerment," it says.

In February, ID2020 launched its largest project to date, the Good Health Pass Collaborative. Putting principles into practice, the Collaborative has brought together more than 125 global companies and organisations from across the health, travel, and technology sectors to develop open standards for digital health passes aimed at restoring international travel and restarting the global economy. This work culminated with the August 12 release of the Good Health Pass Interoperability Blueprint.

Gruener recently composed an argument that immunity certificates will need to alleviate privacy concerns by leveraging biometrics for the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. The organisation noted the increased importance of digital identity for people adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to make sure any repurposing of digital identity technology for digital health certificates or other recovery measures to protect individual privacy.

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