Bengaluru, India – September 16, 2023 – The International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIIT-B), in collaboration with The Alan Turing Institute, UK, proudly hosted the Trustworthy Digital Identity International Conference 2023 on September 14th and 15th. This groundbreaking event, now in its third year, brought together luminaries from the fields of technology, policy, privacy, and inclusion to discuss and exchange insights on the vital topic of digital identity systems.

During the event, an array of distinguished speakers took the stage to delve into crucial topics. Sanjay Jain, Chairperson of the Technology Committee at MOSIP, looked into the question of whether biometrics are a necessity in national identity systems. Satya Lokam, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research Lab, Bangalore, provided insights into zero-knowledge proofs, as applicable to identity systems. Somanath Tripathy, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Patna explored secure searching over encrypted data and Joanne Knight, Identification Consultant in the Digital Public Service Branch, Department of Internal Affairs, Te Tari Taiwhenua (New Zealand) examined identity theft. These diverse topics contributed to a comprehensive discussion on the complexities and advancements in the field of digital identity systems during the event.

Prof. Debabrata Das, Director of IIIT Bangalore and Chairman of the Executive Committee, MOSIP, emphasized, “The conference has illuminated the journey toward secure and privacy-proof digital identity systems at a national level. It underscores the vital role of policy development and technological advancements, such as advanced biometrics and cryptographic techniques, in addressing the challenges faced by individuals in accessing essential services. Co-hosting this event with the Alan Turing Institute, UK, has provided a platform for valuable insights into the latest technology trends, policies, and industry practices in the realm of digital ID systems.”

Prof. V Sridhar, IIIT-Bangalore, co-host, commented, “The Trustworthy Digital Identity International Conference 2023, co-hosted by The Alan Turing Institute, UK, and IIIT-Bangalore, has successfully concluded its third year as a global forum for digital identity system discussions. Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this event held at IIIT-Bangalore on September 14th and 15th gathered researchers, practitioners, open-source advocates, and developers. It featured 10 research papers, 5 poster presentations, and a panel discussion on the Modular Open Source Identity Project (MOSIP). The insights and discussions during this conference have contributed significantly to advancing our understanding of digital identity. We look forward to the continued growth and impact of these systems.”

Prof. Carsten Maple, Principal Investigator of the Trustworthy Digital Infrastructure for Identity Systems project at The Alan Turing Institute, co-host, highlighted: “It has been fantastic to come to India and have the conference hosted at IIIT-Bangalore. Digital identity has the power to deliver transformative impact on those who need it most. However, it is vital that adequate care is taken to ensure that these systems are trustworthy and cannot harm those they are intended to serve. The conference has brought together global researchers from across a wide range of disciplines and provided an opportunity for stimulating discussion. I’m grateful to all participants, especially our excellent keynote speakers”.

The event served as a dynamic platform for researchers, practitioners, open-source advocates, and developers. It provided a space to present and deliberate on the most recent innovations, trends, results, experiences, and concerns surrounding the adoption of digital identity systems. The conference aimed to facilitate meaningful dialogue across academia, industry, and government sectors, ultimately contributing to the development of secure, inclusive, and ethical identity systems on a global scale.

The Trustworthy Digital Identity International Conference 2023 was created as part of the Trustworthy Digital Infrastructure for Identity Systems project, generously funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This initiative underscores the importance of digital identity in today’s interconnected world, where access to fundamental rights and services, such as healthcare, education, and finance, is contingent upon possessing a legal identity.

The conference addressed key issues, including policy development, the challenges of large-scale deployments, and the responsible handling of sensitive digital identity data. It was also a platform for networking and forging collaborations that will shape the future of digital identity. Recordings of the proceedings, as well as a conference report will be published in the coming weeks.

As we move forward, the insights and collaborations established during this event promise to pave the way for a more equitable and inclusive digital future for all.