Briefing

Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) want to start collecting biometrics instead of paper IDs

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The industry association, which represents 60 banks, is calling for new laws at the federal and provincial levels to allow them to start accepting digital IDs. Digital IDs are more secure and accurate than paper ones like driver licences, according to CEO Neil Parmenter. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: If the law changes banks would have access to a huge amount of highly-sensitive personal information on Canadians. When StatsCan tried to collect banking information earlier this year, the CBA loudly objected. The difference: Statistics Canada wanted to collect data to perform anonymized aggregate analysis informing government policy. Banks can use the data to upsell current customers and potentially resell data to third parties, both of which could be highly lucrative. Canada’s six largest banks intend to launch a system called Verified.Me later this year, which would be a unified digital ID accepted across their businesses. For that to scale, they need federal and provincial governments to start allowing digital ID, as well, and to create an integrated system between levels of government.