Ontario looking to store government-issued ID on smartphones

Oct 20 2020, 7:58 pm

The Ontario government is looking to store government-issued IDs in smartphones to make them more convenient and accessible.

On Monday, Peter Bethlenfalvy, president of the Treasury Board, announced the Ontario Onwards: Action Plan, which includes more than 30 projects to improve programs and support frontline government services like healthcare, ServiceOntario, and expanding access to broadband.

“The world has changed, and government must change with it. That is why we are working to make Ontario’s programs and frontline services more convenient, reliable and accessible. This Action Plan outlines our vision for how we’ll achieve a modern, efficient and customer-focused government,” Bethlenfalvy said in a statement.

A significant part of this new plan is to make government services more digitally accessible.

Part of this includes having verified, digital information about you, such as the information found on your health card, driver’s licence, and birth certificate, to be “securely stored” in a digital wallet on a smartphone and “conveniently used to prove your identity to access services when required.”

Other goals to be achieved over the next two years will include the following:

  • 70% of the services Ontarians use most, like enhanced virtual healthcare, to be available online
  • 50% of the most common ways the people of Ontario interact with government to be completed digitally
  • 75% of citizens and businesses satisfied with Ontario’s digital services, according to customer experience assessments
  • Digital capabilities and improvements across the Ontario Public Service available on multiple platforms: online via Ontario.ca, in-person at ServiceOntario and through call centres

Other highlights from the plan include the Criminal Justice Digital design project, which seeks to digitally connect police, Crown attorneys, courts, and corrections partners to speed up the flow of data, documents, and media, ensuring “that the right information is in the right hands faster.”

The Doing Business project will align the province’s regularity policies with those found in other leading jurisdictions, making it easier to do business in Ontario.

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