Mark Carney Claims Holistic Digital ID Could Reduce Cyber Crime

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has reintroduced the Labour government’s idea of integrating digital ID cards.

Carney has suggested that digital ID cards would make accessing money online a lot safer and could help to secure user verification; claiming that this could significantly reduce the success of fraud.

Although digital identification has been widely adopted by the vast majority of EU nations, it continues to be a symbol of restricted freedoms whenever the UK has attempted to embrace the technology.

Whilst speaking at the Bank’s Future Forum, he was in agreement with those in attendance that a more cohesive, robust and holistic ID verification method was needed to help reduce the increasing sophistication of cyber criminals.

It is thought that a digital ID card could be used for a range of verification purposes, creating a more thorough and centralised database which would make it more difficult to breach accounts, impersonate individuals and successfully steal data and money.

Carney outlined the importance for banking institutions to have a clear recovery plan which details how they would withstand and recover from cyber crime. The plan also looks at how they can remain secure and operational, so savers are able to continue accessing their money. The digital ID could help improve the security of these systems.

It was also made clear that the Bank of England would be unable to enforce the concept and only a government backed approach and introduction would work.

This seems unlikely in the current government as Theresa May, the home secretary responsible for scrapping Labour’s scheme in 2010 was insistent that ID cards would reduce a citizen’s rights and that by withdrawing the proposal it will “reduce the control of the State over decent, law-abiding people and hand power back to them.”

Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, said: “One of the bigger decisions that needs to be made over the course of several years is around digital identification and the forms of digital identification people and companies will use.

“There are issues around privacy, property rights [and] others, there is a long tradition of debate in this country around ID cards and other issues.

“But unlocking a lot of the opportunities and giving some of the protections in terms of a digital financial system, much of that would be founded on having a consistent and comprehensive digital ID.

“It is not a decision for the Bank, it is a much broader decision that needs to be thought through and debated.”

Do you feel that a holistic digital ID could reduce many of the cyber crime problems that persist in the UK? Or, are you concerned that it will lead to a loss of civil liberties?