In recent years, governments worldwide have instituted laws that directly or indirectly require companies to decrease vulnerability to identity theft. In many cases, their initial rollouts have focused on the public sector but the prevalence of digital certificates and greater market awareness of identity fraud have pushed governments to now require civilian identity authentication. The United States, the European Union, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Japan, Australia, Singapore and many other nations have drafted or implemented regulations to authenticate credentials before issuing government documents such as e-passports, marriage licenses, electronic voting ballots, visas and residence permits, citizenship, and driver’s licenses. Governments are also rapidly moving to electronic invoicing and tax filing to reduce fraud, improve on collection and provide a more robust audit trail.
The capacity of government-issued documents for citizens, the amount of fraud and error, and the lack of tracking available with paper-based systems makes it difficult for governments to meet their own audit regulations. They must transition to electronic processes, and this has helped to make digital signatures and certificates become mainstream. Here are just a few examples of digital signature/certificate projects that are underway :
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