Canada and the EU to collaborate on the use of digital credentials

Canada and the European Union have recently decided to collaborate on digital credential research and innovation in order to improve the trust and privacy of digital credentials.

Indeed, the two unions are currently working on ways to recognize the use of digital credentials for business and personal use, including transactions conducted through digital wallets. Digital credentials then rely upon cryptography to detect fraud and verify the authenticity and the issuer of the digital credential. The two unions already share some commonalities that can be built upon to advance the implementation of digital credentials, such as hyperledger-based solutions in both Canada and the EU.

Yet, both Canada and the EU already have a variety of different Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) and digital credential technologies in use in their jurisdiction. These different SSI and digital credential technologies could create a risk of economic and jurisdictional technology silos.

Hence, it was recommended that they both adhere to internationally recognized standards and best practices, such as the Verifiable Credential Data Model, enable baseline compatibility regarding digital credentials and digital trust services, comply with the published and endorsed World Wide Web Consortium test suites, as well as adopt an approach that is both ledger and feature-agnostic to prevent vendor lock-in.

Canada and the EU will then continue to co-operate on the development of digital credential standards and certifications, including joint proofs of concept and pilots for end-to-end digital credential use cases, to establish mutual recognition for digital credentials and digital trust services through formal agreements.