G20 Leaders Release Recommendations For New ‘Digital ID’

Throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns and related government mandates, many Americans expressed concerns that the draconian measures would be used as a foundation for future restrictions on freedom.

During the recent Group of 20 meeting in India, world leaders seemed to add credence to such speculation by endorsing the creation of digital identification and digital currency that could be used by countries around the world.

The concept dates back at least to a World Bank proposal in 2018 that endorsed a digital ID because a “unique, legal identity is necessary to allow all individuals to participate fully in society and the economy” and the “ability to prove one’s identity underlies the ability to access basic services and entitlements from healthcare through to pension and agriculture subsidies.”

It was not until COVID-19 and the introduction of a multinational “vaccine passport,” however, that G20 leaders developed a template from which to create a viable digital ID.

European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, for example, laid out the case for basing such forms of identification on the pandemic-era passports.

“Many of you are familiar with the COVID-19 digital certificate,” she said. “The EU developed it for itself. The model was so functional and so trusted that 51 countries on four continents adopted it for free.”

Von der Leyen went on to declare that “the future is digital” and insisted that the “digital public infrastructures” being proposed by the world leaders “must be trusted, interoperable and open to all.”

There seemed to be general agreement among G20 representatives at the summit, as evidenced by a policy recommendation that included the term “digital ID” a whopping 83 times.

“Digital IDs could further financial inclusion, especially in low- and middle-income countries where insufficient documentation is often a barrier to account ownership,” representatives wrote in the document titled “G20 policy recommendations for advancing financial inclusion and productivity gains through digital public infrastructure.”

In addition to identification, the digital public infrastructure also calls for “digital payments” and “data exchange in the financial sector.”

The G20 recommendation also cited the United Nations, which has urged all of its members to “provide legal identity for all, including birth registration” by the end of this decade.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also a major proponent of digital public infrastructure.