Identity as Infrastructure – Why ID is crucial for all

Last updated: 29 May 2024

Governments all over the world understand the importance of investing in infrastructure.

Whether it’s building roads or airports to promote economic growth, or optimising power supplies – investing in this infrastructure is seen as vital to ensure effective functionality for their countries or organisations.

One way of transforming infrastructure is by integrating identity as a trusted, reliable means of accessing and benefitting from these services. However, there are still 850 million people across the globe who lack a secure means to prove their identity.

This results in the denial of social benefits, like education and healthcare, as well as the restriction of civil rights. These individuals remain excluded from the economy.

When we talk about investing in infrastructure, this conversation must also extend to establishing trusted identities for all. Identity serves as a foundation for a robust digital public infrastructure, unlocking substantial economic growth through digitisation.

Challenges facing ID roll-out

In today’s interconnected world, identity plays a crucial role, not just in terms of credentials, but in empowering individuals in both the real and digital realms. However, when launching programs to implement an identity solution, governments and supporting organisations alike face a multitude of challenges and considerations such as:

  • Inclusivity: Ensuring inclusive reach for the entire population and ensuring there is no discrimination based on social or geographic factors. There must also be a plan for initial mass enrolment, followed by a longer-term strategy.
  • Data protection: In the age of cyber attacks and identity theft, this data must be sufficiently safeguarded and protected.
  • Digital ID adoption: Individual countries could unlock economic value equivalent to between 3 and 13 percent of GDP in 2030 from fully exploiting the potential of digital ID. However, this is dependent on the drive for adoption to come from both public and private sector organisations.

Overcoming these challenge

At Thales, we understand these challenges and are committed to making the world safer and more sustainable, where everyone has access to a secure and trusted identity. With a legacy 30 years of biometric technology expertise, our over-arching mission is to ensure that every citizen has access to personal identity through cutting-edge, user-centric biometric solutions.

A proven track record in country-wide identity project deployments

Our identity solutions are live in over 300 deployments, across 80 countries worldwide: whether it’s getting 46 million citizens enrolled on a modern electoral roll or establishing an end-to-end passport solution for a country.

Scalable and accurate biometric solutions

Our scalable biometric engine is both flexible and future proof, able to handle large population databases and can grow with demand.

Integration with external systems

Our solutions are designed to be interoperable, enabling identity credentials, both physical and digital, to be used by a diverse range of service providers – whether they are in the public or private sector.


We provide a user-friendly experience to citizens and an easy-to-operate solution for system administrators and operators. Smooth operations means better service to the citizens and reduced cost to run, and maintain, the identity infrastructure.

Cyber security by design

We ensure that our solutions are created with the principle of “secured by design” at every step of the identity chain. We prioritize both privacy, giving citizens the peace of mind they deserve when utilizing their identity, and security with robust identity verification.


Founded in 2014, ID4Africa is driven by the need to establish identity-for-all, not just as a legal right, but also as a practical necessity to enable inclusive access to services in Africa.

This month our team attended the annual ID4Africa AGM. Together, alongside other tech leaders and representatives from African governments we discussed how digital identity and aligned services can advance socio-economic development within their countries.

By establishing a trusted, secure, and accessible identity ecosystem, Thales helps accelerate digital transformation, benefiting organisations and citizens alike.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *