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On 12 June 2007, the OECD Council adopted a Recommendation encouraging efforts by Member countries to establish compatible, technology-neutral approaches for effective domestic and cross-border electronic authentication of persons and entities. This Recommendation reaffirms the important role of electronic authentication in fostering trust online and the continued development of the digital economy.
OECD Guidance on Electronic Authentication has also been developed to assist Member countries and non-Member economies in establishing or amend their approaches to electronic authentication with a view to facilitate cross-border authentication. The Guidance sets out the context and importance of electronic authentication for electronic commerce, electronic government and many other social interactions. It provides a number of foundation and operational principles that constitute a common denominator for cross-jurisdictional interoperability.
Electronic authentication provides a level of assurance as to whether someone or something is who or what it claims to be in a digital environment. It is an essential component of any strategy to protect information systems and networks, financial data, personal information and other assets from unauthorised access or identity theft. Electronic authentication is therefore essential for establishing accountability online.
Both the Recommendation and the Guidance conclude a work stream initiated in response to the “Declaration on Authentication for Electronic Commerce” adopted by Ministers at the Ottawa Ministerial Conference held on 7-9 October 1998 and serve as a bridge to future OECD work on identity management.
It is anticipated that they will also inform ongoing and future discussions in other international forums such as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and national and regional standards organisations.