Creating a Digital Fingerprint

In this week’s episode, we explore how blockchain technology can help you create a digital fingerprint. Blockchain technology can help secure that personal information and empower users to control their own identity and share it between trusted entities with meaningful consent. Innovators in Canada are leading the way in building digital identity solutions on the blockchain. Blockchain can change the game in a digital age where many believe the notion of privacy is dead.


Our guests on this week’s episode are:

  • Andre Boysen, Chief Identity Officer, SecureKey
  • Joni Brennan, President and CEO, Digital Identity and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC)
  • Franklin Garrigues, Vice President, Digital Channel, TD Bank


Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of Navigator or its affiliates. 

A portion of our discussion with Andre Boysen is transcribed below. Subscribe here to have the Navigator’s latest insights delivered right to your inbox.

Clare: Andre could you tell our listeners a little bit about your companies origin story and how you first got involved in this space.

Andre: Yeah. SecureKey’s been working with banks to solve the online delivery service challenge for quite some time. And so what we started in this program is we’re helping the Government of Canada solve a problem they had and the challenge that the Government of Canada has is they have very important services to deliver online. The challenge is that Clare and Andre and everybody else who comes to their website doesn’t do it very often. And so the challenge is you can’t remember your password. And so the Government was locked in this challenge where they have a high value service that Canadians want but people can’t remember the password and so people are getting locked out which was frustrating, it was also very expensive for the government and so working with the banks so they came together to build a service that allows Canadians use their bank account to get to the government and that service has been quite successful and I can take you through some of the key elements.

One of the key reasons those service was adopted and accepted by Canadians is because we introduced in the service the notion of triple blind privacy which says when I use my bank account to get the government that the bank doesn’t get to see the online service I’m trying to access and the government in its place knows I came from a Tier 1 bank in Canada but they don’t get to see which bank I came from and certainly not my bank account details. Our company SecureKey which operates the network, we don’t know who they are we don’t have any personal identical identifiable information.

Clare: SecureKey has done a lot of good work with the government of Canada and IBM to build a digital identity network. But the goal of helping citizens access e-services. Could you tell us a little bit more about how that works and what types of services it covers.

Andre:  Sure. So The challenge today is for high value services things like government, getting a new bank account, or a new cell phone, or health care insurance. The challenge we have today is we can’t deliver these services on the Internet. We require you to come in for a counter visit to get to the service the first time and then we make we give you a user id and password. So the challenge with that is that as we try to grow the economy and make it more digital these in person visits are one not convenient for consumers and two they’re very expense. Any given counter visit for one of these industry players would be you know half hour to 45 minutes at the counter to photocopy your documents and sign the papers and whatnot. And that’s expensive depending what industry, that’s 50 to 75 dollars. And so the opportunity with a network like this is to take the cost down from 50 to 75 dollars down to two or three dollars. And you know a bank or a telephone company is happy to see that reduction in cost but more importantly because we can do this online now we can take the cost down but even better we can automate compliance. We can demonstrate the documents are real. We can demonstrate they belong to the person who’s presenting them and we can verify they haven’t altered since they were created. So this creates a level of integrity we can’t even do in person today. And so that’s the opportunity for business. The opportunity for Canadians is to allow you to prove you who you are and get the services you want online.