By: Greg Staley
Written On: 2022-03-16
Touchless borders and a digital ID in Canada in our near future sounds like something out of a dystopian sci-fi thriller – unfortunately, it’s all too real and no one seems to be paying any attention.
As the “I support the thing” crowd chases whatever new narrative the media dangles in front of them, the most pressing issues of our time aren’t being discussed. In an age where much of the global populace has access to information at the touch of a screen, why haven’t people grasped the concept that governments around the world are seeking to make major changes in their day-to-day lives?
All of this of course hinges on the concept that we are at the burgeoning of a fourth Industrial Revolution (as the World Economic Forum would say) – this time led by Artificial Intelligence and other technological advancements. We often hear AI and technology discussed as a future disrupting force but do we know how near that future is and how disruptive that force will be?
Your coming digital credentials
According to the World Economic Forum, the now notorious think-tank organization that Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland sits on the board of trustees at, “COVID-19 has heavily affected the travel industry” as governments decided to “verify additional documentation that is often paper-based, easy to lose and not difficult to fake.”
This led to longer queues at the airports – which the organization points to as the justification for stating that “digital credentials and touchless borders are needed more than ever to restore confidence.” Who cares what the WEF thinks though right? It’s not like the government of Canada has partnered with them on a digital identity project for “seamless and secure travel” – stop being a conspiracy theorist! Except that the Canadian government did just that.
How extensive was the partnership between KTDI and the government of Canada you ask? According to the World Economic Forum white paper update about the program that was released in October of 2021, “government departments collaborated extensively to illustrate the KTDI proof of concept.”
You see, the Government of Canada, collaborated with Accenture and completed the “testing of an interdepartmental government blockchain-based digital identity platform” that was the “first step towards gaining wider acceptance for using a decentralized digital identity solution for travel” the report reads.
KTDI’s website reads that their company “enables consortium partners to access verifiable claims of a traveller’s identity data so they can assess their credibility, optimise passenger processing and reduce risk.” I’m not sure what the company means by this statement but I find it to be unsettling to say the least. How does one rate a traveller’s credibility?
It’s not only the federal government that is looking at rolling out a digital ID however, Ontario is on board too. One line from the Ontario government made me particularly uncomfortable in light of recent frozen bank accounts for political opinions that didn’t align with the governments. That line reads “your digital ID can easily be turned off” followed by the statement “if your phone is lost or stolen.”
I trust that statement as much as I trust the leftovers that were left on the counter overnight – I find it to be very suspect to say the least.
It’s not as though digital ID doesn’t exist as administered by a government already – Estonia has proven a digital ID for citizens is possible. The issue is that Trudeau and his government have stomped all over the Charter of Rights and Freedoms these past two years and they would be in charge of the program if still in power. Even if it were a different party in power Canadians need to be assured that the government won’t abuse their access to their personal info and that they won’t turn off their digital ID’s based on their political views or other wrong think the government may take issue with – you know like we just seen Trudeau do when he froze Canadians bank accounts for donating to a protest he didn’t agree with (freedom convoy).
The Trudeau government not only has cabinet members that belong to the WEF and their affiliates, they’ve taken it further by partnering with them on a digital ID project and I think it’s time for Canadians to start paying attention and asking questions. If we don’t, we’ll end up with a digital ID system that didn’t have proper public consultation in it’s development and that benefits only those in power.
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