NDSS

“Lose Your Phone, Lose Your Identity”: Exploring Users’ Perceptions and Expectations of a Digital Identity Service

Michael Lutaaya, Hala Assal, Khadija Baig, Sana Maqsood, Sonia Chiasson (Carleton University)

Digital identities are gaining traction and spurring the interest of governments around the world. In this paper, we explore the concept of digital identity from the user’s perspective, using a digital identity prototype as a prop. To this effect, we conducted a user study with 22 participants to understand their perceptions and expectations of digital identity services.We conducted the study in Canada, where digital identities are not yet widely adopted. Our participants identified some benefits of using digital identity, particularly those relating to the convenience of using a digital format rather than a printed one.However, participants did not recognize the privacy-preserving benefits of using a digital service. They also expressed concerns about the associated privacy risks, particularly around how their data would be handled and the risk of privacy and security breaches. Based on our findings, we provide recommendations for designing digital identity services that are both usable and privacy-protective.