GovTech, an issue for the sovereignty of digital identity
With the health crisis, GovTech is experiencing a strong development, which questions the digital sovereignty of Governments. What role does digital identity have to play in this context?
What is GovTech?
A contraction of the terms "government" and "technology", GovTech is a sector resulting from the Tech market made up of players who intend to orient innovation in the service of citizens.
The promoters of GovTech present it as an opportunity for Governments to improve and simplify the operation of public services for the benefit of citizens, especially in the health sector with the sanitary situation.
COVID-19, a catalyst for GovTech
The health crisis of COVID-19 is accelerating the emergence of GovTech, understood as “the use and purchase of innovative technological solutions for a public actor”.* Indeed, the GovTech sector is experiencing a strong growth driven by many private players including start-ups. Thus, the global GovTech market, now estimated at around $ 400 billion with an annual growth of 15%, could reach $ 1,000 billion in 2025.**
This rise of GovTech, exponential in the field of health, responds to the European Union's strategy to develop a Health Union, strengthening the capacity to respond to public health crises and in particular the efforts to produce and distribute vaccines in Europe and around the world.
GovTech for the climate?
In order to meet Europe’s commitment to reduce its CO2 emissions by at least 55% by 2030, GovTech is also an opportunity for Governments to modernize their solutions and reduce their carbon footprint. For example, intelligent transport makes it possible to optimize travel times thanks to Vehicle-to-Infrastructure communication, but also to choose the safest and most energy-efficient route by avoiding low-emission zones or by offsetting emissions.
This trend will be accentuated by the greater openness of public data thanks to the third European directive on open data (Directive (EU) 2019/1024), which must be transcribed by the Member States before July 17, 2021. This will make it possible to open the data for new cross-border European services. Mobility, one of the priority sectors of this directive, will benefit from it to become more virtuous.
A challenge for the digital sovereignty of Governments
This boom in GovTech highlights new issues and in particular raises the concern of the digital sovereignty of Governments, especially in the context of the development of traceability applications to combat the health crisis.
Private actors are bringing out new challenges for the state's monopoly on fundamental public functions, including sovereign ones, such as border control or public health. This is the case, for example, for the management of personal data collected as part of a public service.
Digital identity, a key element of digital sovereignty and social inclusion
To meet the challenge of digital sovereignty, it is essential to lay a first stone in the construction of a digital trust space, namely digital identity. Moreover, the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union confirms in its program the strategic priority of promoting a European digital identity in order to promote better access and sharing of quality data and information to make life easier for citizens.
Associated with a physical identity document, digital identity provides citizens with highly secure authentication to allow face-to-face or remote access to simplified and fluid government e-services. In fact, in the digital era, the risks of identity theft and the commercialisation of personal data make the control and protection of digital identity major issues.
In addition, a simple and universal digital identity gives the greatest number of citizens access to basic services of the digital economy of tomorrow and today. Modernization will lead from the use of technophiles to that of the whole population without exclusion.
Thinking identity as the Right to Be You
As a partner of the French government for nearly 500 years, IN Groupe exports its expertise in identity solutions and helps many governments to support new digital uses and develop their digital autonomy.
IN Groupe's conviction is that identity is not a service but a right that must be guaranteed to everyone in a simple and secure manner. Beyond a simple economic player, IN Groupe is a trusted partner for any Government, administration or company that wishes to maintain its digital sovereignty and offer everyone the Right to Be You.
*R. Berger/PUBLIC, « GovTech en France : état des lieux et perspectives », novembre 2019.
**N. Ismail, « GovTech to Hit $1 Trillion by 2025 », Information Age, www.information-age.com