In a logic of digitizing and centralizing everything, the Ukrainian government launched in 2020 an application called Diia which brings together identity card, passport, license, vaccination record, registrations, insurance, health reimbursements, social benefits, and more of millions of Ukraine residents.
Such a model is only known so far in China with the famous social credit.
Ukraine is the champion of digital identity with the Diia app
As you all know here, governments want to move towards digitization of everyday life by bringing together almost all services on your telephone. While the European Union had announced a test to digitize the vaccination record, wallet and identities in 2018, Ukraine was very quick to react, deploying the Diia application already two years ago. Since then, the platform has continued to grow.
Ukrainians can download Diia and store a whole lot of official information, in order to easily carry out most of the administrative procedures (from tax paying to identity paper renewal, fine payments and social benefits recovery, among others).
With COVID-19, the government has announced that the payment of benefits will be conditional on the presence of a vaccination certificate on the app. When reality catches up with Orwell…
At the start of 2021, the ‘control’ app had already claimed more than 4.5 million active users. As of the end of 2021, more than 12 million Ukrainians were using the Diia application, showing an almost five-fold increase compared to the end of 2020 (2.5 million users).
Meanwhile, it has been discovered that Russia had access to the Diia mobile application and thus to the personal data of millions of Ukrainians as two Russian companies are among those involved in providing some services.
The most interesting part is that one of these companies – EPAM Systems – has ties with the Russian government and develops software, in particular for Sberbank of Russia, VTB, Rostelecom and Yandex, i.e falls within the purview of the Russian FSB.
Taking a closer look at what is currently being done digitally, it turns out that:
- Poland has a mobile application similar to that of Ukraine, which was launched at the end of 2019. This Polish app displays seven digital documents and allows users to identify themselves with a digital ID card in places where a paper passport is not legally required.
- In the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, citizens can use electronic passports at airports for check-in and security screening. It’s coming soon to the US thanks to Apple Wallet.
- In China, citizens have access to virtual identity cards integrated into a mobile application. Users can use it to identify themselves when they register in a hotel or to benefit from certain government services, with a ‘point system’ that allows them to have additional rights in the event of “good behavior”.
- In Estonia, 70% of the population uses digital ID cards, while 99% of public services are available online.
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