Digi.me has successfully completed a proof of concept with the Dutch government to securely share official data with citizens and external service providers.
By law, Dutch citizens are required to notify their local authority when they move house. This can be done by filling in an online form, which is used to update the national citizen registry.
The digi.me interoperable data-sharing exchange enabled citizens to connect to this government system and obtain a validated digital copy of their records.
Once a citizen owns and controls this validated copy, they can share it with service providers in return for a service – in this case an automated, highly trustworthy official change of address, digitally stamped by the Netherlands government.
The setup required a two-step process:
1. Individuals used digi.me’s Postbox feature to own and control their own citizen registry data, which comprises the web form data plus an extract of the official national registration data.
2. The individual was able to notify their official address change by sharing elements of their citizen records. This happened by means of a simple scan of a QR code for each third party, followed by a one-click authorisation. The privacy protecting solution was enabled by using the digi.me Private Sharing technology to route the data.
This unique new capability had several immediate benefits over and above the individual owning and controlling their data:
- The government does not know who the user has shared data with, so isn’t aware of potentially sensitive faith, social, political or personal interests
- It reduces address fraud, as service providers receive official government records directly from users
- It is more convenient for the user
- User can easily retract any data shared and exercise their EU GDPR Right to be Forgotten
- Usability and comprehension of the process was high
- The user’s account is always up to date
- Government retains control over its own registration systems for source data and does not need to make any changes to allow for sharing with citizens.
Additional benefits are that people remain central to their data at all times, in control of it and where it is shared, as well as more easily able to make purchases.
User feedback from a final test using a cohort with an average age of 61 and below average digital skills found the process was positive, easily understandable and convenient.
For this practical test, digi.me’s product was translated to Dutch, and a local version can be downloaded from app stores.
Best international practice for UX in consent was also used, resulting in a colour scheme, button styling, and messaging which was appropriate for users with dyslexia, autism or reduced vision.
Digi.me’s privacy-by-design architecture is decentralised and completely private, and digi.me itself never sees, touches or holds user data, meaning the user is always fully in control.