National Digital ID Study underway as Malaysia seeks safe, secure online ID
By Digital News Asia January 7, 2020
- Goal to improve convenience, promote inclusivity, reduce cost of access to services
- Co-chaired by Sec Gen of Communications & Multimedia Ministry & MCMC Chairman
With minimum fuss, a comprehensive study to establish a user centric National Digital Identity (ID) framework for Malaysians commenced on 21 Nov 2019 led by PwC Malaysia.
The National Digital ID Study Task Force, co-chaired by Secretary-General of Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Suriani Ahmad and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak (pic, right), will oversee the 30-week study which will recommend the implementation model of Digital ID in Malaysia.
Whatever the recommendations, there will be no compulsory adoption. Neither will the National Digital ID, which will not be in physical form, replace the National Registration Identity Card (NRIC), which is compulsory for all Malaysians.
[Ed: Para edited for accuracy.]
“We are taking a consultative and collaborative approach to the study particularly by working together with relevant stakeholders, in getting their views on potential use cases for the national digital ID platform. This is important to ensure user centricity in designing the framework for Malaysians,” said Al-Ishsal.
The study’s primary focus includes local contextual analysis, implementation strategy, operating model, technology and enabling policies as well as related legislations.
The recommendations of the task force will also take into consideration aspects such as existing ID programmes, while leveraging on their strengths and opportunities, existing legal framework, security, privacy and ethics.
“Today, as technology forms an integral part of our lives, the need for a safe, secure and protected National Digital ID platform has become both an essential and attractive proposition. A National Digital ID serves as a secure and trusted digital credential as well as a platform for authentication that can improve convenience, promote inclusivity, reduce cost of access to services, and enhance service delivery to Malaysians where online transactions are concerned,” said Al-Ishsal. The final report is expected to be ready by 30 June 2020 with the recommendations put forward to the cabinet for further action.
Gobind Singh Deo, the Minister of Communications and Multimedia mooted the idea to establish a National Digital ID in October 2018. Subsequently, on 8 May 2019, Cabinet approval was obtained to begin a comprehensive study of the National Digital ID framework. The mandate was given to MCMC to recommend the workable model with further steps for the implementation of the National Digital ID.
The National Digital ID is an effort by the Government to enable Malaysians to embrace the rise of digital services. It will be an advanced method of authenticating a user’s identity online, where it is safe, secure and protected.