Spain’s Autonomous Region Catalonia Introduces Decentralized Digital Identity Platform

The government of Catalonia is developing a decentralized identity solution that will allow the autonomous community’s residents to control their data while interacting with internet-based services.

Referred to as the IdentiCAT project, the launch of the new digital identity platform was announced on September 7 by Catalonia’s minister of digital policy and public administration Jordi Puigneró. 

Catalonia’s government notes:

“The ‘IdentiCAT’ will be the first digital identity at European level, which will be driven by the public sphere and managed by citizens themselves with the aim of becoming standard use in Catalonia.”

The initiative is part of the ministry’s main objectives, which include “qualifying and digitally empowering Catalan citizens so they may carry out activities with full assurance and security in the digital society of the 21st century,” according to Catalan News.

The decentralized identity platform is part of the autonomous region of Spain’s blockchain policy, which was released in June 2019, in order to promote the use of the distributed ledger technology (DLT) within the region’s “public authorities and society.”

Developed using DLT, IdentiCAT will be managed by the Catalan government, which will serve as the validator for the network. The government says it will not be requiring users to submit personal data.

The “self-sovereign” identity system will be available on mobile or desktop applications. It will allow Catalan citizens to “create and manage their own identities, with full legal effectiveness and privacy.”

For instance, a user can verify or provide proof that they are of legal age, by using the new ID system, without providing the actual date or place of their birth.

IdentiCAT will be developed in a manner that is compliant with the 2014 European Union’s elDAS rules, which pertain to electronic identification and trust services involving digital transactions. 

IdentiCAT users will reportedly have access to online services and be able to conduct electronic transactions in any EU member country.

The initial phase of IdentiCAT’s deployment will involve setting up the system and running it, which requires various tools for creating self-sovereign IDs. The software will authenticate and validate the IDs. 

IdentiCat will be integrated with existing authentication systems that are being used by the Catalan Open Government Consortium.

The identity platform will be launched and distributed for use to the region’s residents, businesses, and various other organizations.

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