The United Nations is proposing a universal digital ID system that would directly connect to people’s bank accounts and payment apps.
A comprehensive new policy agenda from UN Secretary General António Guterres details an identification network designed to digitize and streamline the process of verifying people’s identities on a global scale.
The proposal is outlined in a section dedicated to “global digital cooperation and sustainable development goals.”
“Digital IDs linked with bank or mobile money accounts can improve the delivery of social protection coverage and serve to better reach eligible beneficiaries.
Digital technologies may help to reduce leakage, errors and costs in the design of social protection programmes.”
The proposal follows a move by the World Economic Forum to explore systems that would track and verify human identities using biometrics.
The Forum has teamed up with the Swedish biometrics company Fingerprint Cards, and is exploring blockchain-based digital ID platforms that “put privacy at the top of all major priorities.”
The UN notes that despite the rapid advance of technology around the world, more work is needed to provide equal access to the digital revolution and to reverse ever-growing gaps in wealth distribution.
“Digital technology has led to massive gains in productivity and value, but these benefits are not resulting in shared prosperity.
The wealth of those in the top 1% is growing exponentially: between 1995 and 2021, they accounted for 38% of the increase in global wealth, while the bottom 50% accounted for only 2%.
Digital technologies are accelerating the concentration of economic power in an ever smaller group of elites and companies. The combined wealth of technology billionaires, $2.1 trillion in 2022, is greater than the annual gross domestic product of more than half of the Group of 20 economies.”Don't Miss a Beat – Subscribe to get email alerts delivered directly to your inbox
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