Remote identification should simplify interaction between citizens and the state

3 july 2018 | RIA Novosti

The Russian government is drafting new laws to introduce a remote identification system for citizens and organizations based on phone numbers, special codes or even images, writes RIA Novosti. "It is expected that this should simplify interactions with state and local authorities," a RIA Novosti correspondent was told by the deputy head of the Analytical Center and head of the Digital Economy of the Russian Federation project management office Evgeny Kislyakov.

Evgeniy Kislyakov
Evgeniy Kislyakov
Deputy Head

Mr Kislyakov noted that the draft law aims to create a legislative foundation to build a nation-wide system of identifiers which would make it possible to identify people remotely in the majority of public, legal and private contexts. The new draft law aims to legally define such notions as personal identifier, assignment of an identifier and an electronic document and describes the general principles of identification.

At this stage, the draft law contains 9 types of IDs that are already in use, which include digital signatures and phone numbers. However, the new draft law also allows for the use of other identifiers that could be agreed with the people they are assigned to, such as login and password pairs. It also envisions that in the future new types of identifiers may be possible, for which the creation and assignment procedures will be defined in federal laws, Mr Kislyakov pointed out.

"One of the fundamental principles of regulation in personal identification is that it must be voluntary. As is stated in the draft law, identifiers can only be created with the consent of the individuals and legal entities being identified," he added.

However, no identifier can last forever, every type will have an expiration date. Only biometric data are to be regarded as indefinite IDs. This is required to ensure data reliability.

The draft law also stipulates the principle that IDs must be updated to ensure the reliability of legally significant actions performed remotely using IDs.

"It is suggested that the validity periods for specific types of identifiers be stipulated in federal laws or other regulations adopted in accordance with federal laws, while biometric identification be regarded as indefinite (this rule can be deviated from under specific federal laws or regulations adopted in accordance with them)," Mr Kislyakov explained.

"The new draft law stipulates that an informed voluntary consent to medical intervention issued as a paper or digital document can include a reference to an identifier that this kind of document requires, which can later be used when the patient or his or her legal representative remotely sends the healthcare organization applications, notices, claims, or other correspondence.  This will boost the effectiveness of the interaction between the patient and the healthcare organization when using telemedicine technologies," Mr Kislyakov explained.

The draft law also amends the law on communications by allowing the parties to a provision of electronic communications services contract to include in it a clause allowing them to use electronic documents containing identifiers. In order to protect the rights and interests of individuals and organizations that are being identified and that then proceed to use the identifiers assigned to them, the draft law introduces rules regulating the liability for harm caused as a result of violating the requirements of laws and other regulations when creating and storing identifiers as well as during the identification process itself.

Persons creating identifiers as well as their agents and persons requesting authentication confirmation are to be made responsible for ensuring there are no violations. "The grounds and procedure for holding such persons liable for the harm caused are stipulated in Article 59 of the Civil Code," Mr Kislyakov said. At the same time, the principle of disclosure of every instance that an identifier is used also aims to protect the interests of the public: users can at any time demand information about which state or local authorities requested confirmation using which one of their identifiers. Nevertheless, the mechanism for providing these data is yet to be developed, the analyst concluded.

Source: RIA Novosti

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