Digital identification systems are reducing the violation of laws in many developed countries, but increasing in developing countries.
Many governments have introduced digital identity systems to ensure better access to information, reduce corruption and cost of doing business, improve efficiency of services, and prevent persisting security threats in the economy.
However, the goals that digital identification aims to achieve are unreachable for many countries.
The absence of rule of law in a society and defeasibility of laws and contracts in many developing countries, pose barriers to these goals, according to a study conducted by Dr Mushtaq Khan, professor of economics at SOAS university of London and Dr Pallavi Roy, lecturer at the same university.
They presented the research findings at a public lecture organised by the Brac Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) on Monday in Dhaka.
While presenting the paper titled "Digital Identities: When Inclusion Excludes and Functions Creep," Mushtaq Khan said ensuring symmetric flow of information may reduce power asymmetries in some areas, but in other areas, it may have the opposite effect.
He also suggested examining the interdependence of information and power – particularly in the context of societies where power is very unequally distributed and the rule of law is weak.
"In many developing countries like Bangladesh, the quality of databases is very poor due to the lack of information and duplication of entries in some cases," Mushtaq said.
Infrastructure regarding information technology is also inadequate in these countries, which is why taxation and targeting beneficiaries of social safety net and other incentives may be ineffective, he said.
Dr Pallavi Roy said that digital identification systems are reducing the violation of laws in many developed countries, but increasing in developing countries.
"Developing countries have a lot of SMEs. But many of the SMEs are unable to comply with all of the rules and regulations.
"Digitisation is gradually making life easier for people," said Nahim Razzaq, a member of the parliament, adding, that modernisation of information technology should be taken seriously.
He also suggested the importance of introducing modern laws to ensure security of information.
Kamal Kader, CEO of bkash said that they are using mobile numbers of the clients to contact them and the NID numbers for running security checks.
He urged the introduction of a single ID for each person to eliminate information misunderstandings.