Federating identity management

In 2009, Federating Identity Management in the Government of Canada: A Backgrounder was finalized. This document describes the federal government's vision of federating identity management to develop next-generation online authentication services. This vision, in conjunction with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's Directive on Identity Management, provides the direction for developing additional policy instruments and implementing technological solutions. The vision, as outlined in the document, provides the basis upon which the Government of Canada works together with other partners, the provinces and territories to develop interoperable and standards-based solutions.

The Chief Information Officer Branch (CIOB) is leading several key activities in support of this approach, including the following:

  • Analysis of requirements and challenges required to support the federation of identity management, including reviewing legislative, privacy, security, trust and operational requirements, and reviewing methods, trends, best practices, risk approaches and accountability mechanisms in other sectors and countries;
  • Development of foundational frameworks, models and policy instruments to support the approach; and
  • Collaboration with stakeholders, including the provinces and territories, through committees and working groups to enable an integrated pan-Canadian approach in support of interoperability.

Federating identity management represents the next major step for the Government of Canada's Cyber Authentication Renewal Initiative, which was implemented in 2012. This interdepartmental initiative created a federation of credentials (username and password), which provides choice and convenience to clients and secure, reliable access to Government of Canada online services. Through this initiative, CIOB provides community leadership, strategic direction and policy development, including the following:

  • Defining the future of electronic (online) authentication for the Government of Canada and providing a consistent approach to authentication that applies to all service delivery channels; and
  • Developing an approach to authentication that serves the wide array of Government of Canada program and service delivery requirements and that is current with evolving industry trends and technologies.
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