Digital Identity: An Emergent Legal Concept by Clare Sullivan

By Clare Sullivan

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In this book ‘information’ includes data unless otherwise indicated. 24 Access to proprietary databases may require a court order, although the power to require information for validating the NIR conferred by the Identity Cards Act is wide. See s 9 and particularly subs (5)(e). See also ss 7 -21which give extensive power to the Secretary of State to disclose information in the NIR and to obtain information without the individual’s consent, usually on public interest grounds although the authority under s 19 does not expressly require that disclosure be in the public interest.

Similarly, intentional or reckless use, which damages an individual’s registered identity, should be considered criminal damage. Chapter 7 summarises the insights provided by this book in a broader context in which schemes like the NIS and the ACS are common not just on a national level but internationally, and where the requirement to establish digital identity for transactions will be as routine as an individual being asked for his or her name. To some, that situation may seem futuristic but my response is that the future is nearer than you think.

In chapter 5, I assert that observance of minimum human rights standards is the most important consideration for a scheme like the NIS. This is especially so, considering the functions and legal character of transaction identity, the inherent fallibilities discussed in chapter 4, the consequences for the individual, and because the protection and redress currently available under the common law is limited. The discussion highlights the potential impact of the scheme on human rights and the need to recognise and protect those rights.

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