DTLab launches one-of-a-kind digital credential training program to fight cybercrime, improve privacy protection and accelerate digital inclusion

June 5, 2024

Lab Announcements

GATINEAU, QC – June 05, 2024 – The Digital Trust Laboratory of Canada (DTLab) launched the Digital Credential Training Program this week for organizations and individuals embarking on their digital credential journeys. The new program is the first of its kind in Canada.

The program, which includes two courses – Digital Credentials 101: Fundamentals and Digital Credentials 102: Introduction to Implementation – is in response to cyber threats soaring in Canada. According to the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre, financial losses from fraud alone have more than tripled from $165 million in 2020 to $554 million in 2023. DTLab is positioning their new training program to provide participants with the necessary knowledge to better protect themselves and their organizations against data breaches using digital credentials. In doing so, DTLab hopes to contribute to the ongoing fight against cybercrime and fraud. 

Digital credentials are portable, highly secure, digital proofs about a person, entity or object. They prove the identity and/or they prove information about an organization, person or thing, and due to their strong cryptography and privacy protection measures they are at the vanguard of mitigating risks such as fraud, counterfeit and privacy breaches. However, digital credentials remain an emerging technology and so it can be difficult for organizations and individuals to skill-up quickly on the subject matter.

The VP of Government Relations and Program Delivery, Cosanna Preston-Idedia explained the motivation for the courses.

“As someone who led a government digital credential program before joining DTLab, I experienced the need for this training first-hand. Prior to the DTLab training courses there simply wasn’t a way to get up-to-speed on digital credentials quickly in Canada,” she said. 

“With these two new courses, whether your organization is embarking on a digital credential journey, or you’re new to a digital credential or digital trust team and need to accelerate your learning curve, we have you covered.”

The courses are designed to cater to varying levels of expertise and interest in digital credentials. They can be pursued individually or combined for a comprehensive learning experience, providing foundational knowledge and implementation insights into the digital credentials domain.

As a lead-up to this public call for registration, DTLab has already started delivering this training. The Canada Revenue Agency, the Government of Northwest Territories and 15 organizations from Gatineau have all participated in one or both courses.

Jason Doiron, Director of Governance, Planning and Security with the Government of Northwest Territories, commended DTLab for its training content. 

“The DT Lab’s Digital Credentials Training Program was expertly delivered and filled a knowledge gap in our organization with respect to digital credentials,” he said. 

“The courses provided the right balance between information download and practical applications allowing the participants to leave the training with not only a base understanding of digital credentials but how it could be immediately applied in the work our organization is embarking on.  I would recommend this training to any organization that is looking to level-up its collective knowledge on digital credentials and to kickstart their journey towards the same.”

Registration for the training programs is now open with the course kicking off in the fall in both official languages. DTLab is also accepting immediate bookings for organizations looking to secure private training for larger teams.


About the Digital Trust Laboratory of Canada

The Digital Trust Laboratory of Canada (DTLab) is a neutral non-profit that brings people, organizations and governments together to tackle the big issues involved in the creation of secure, privacy-protecting and inclusive digital credentials. Through co-created projects, capacity building, and assessments, DTLab’s unbiased team of specialists is committed to empowering Canadians and Canadian businesses to safely and successfully engage in the digital world.

Press contact information: info@dtlab-labcn.org


Additional information:

Why should I care about digital credentials?

Digital identity and credentials are a secure means to foster trust and confidence in digital transactions. They do this by proving the identity of an organization, person or thing, and/or by proving information about an organization, person or thing.

Let’s look at why this is important:

  1. We have a rise in identity fraud which is extremely costly both to the individual victims and the companies that need to manage the data breaches or resulting financial losses. 
  2. We have a loss of privacy through oversharing of information with supporting documents, escalating privacy breaches and increased surveillance by social media companies and others looking to monetize your data.
  3. There is poor ease of use remembering hundreds if not thousands of usernames and passwords (or more likely reusing usernames and passwords), which leads to security issues.
  4. We don’t have a way to share or receive documents in a way that is secure, privacy protecting, and where we can validate their authenticity. Copies are easily manipulated and paper originals are easily forged.
  5. There are productivity impacts with having to validate these countless documents or assume the risk if we choose not to verify
  6. We have to manage expensive privacy and security process and infrastructure burdens.
  7. and we have reputational risks when we get any of these things wrong! And as you can see from this list, there is a lot to go wrong.

Digital credentials play a pivotal role in addressing these problems. 

  1. A digital credential is a digital representation of information found in the digital credential’s physical counterpart – such as a government issued photo ID, a permit, proof that you are audit compliant, an employee badge, a financial statement, or a proof of business registration. 
  2. Digital credentials are cryptographically signed and verifiable. Cryptographically signed and verifiable means that when you verify a digital credential using verification technology, your verification technology can automatically tell whether any of the data contained in the credential has been tampered with and the technology confirms who the issuer is. So it eliminates the unverifiable document problem. You can trust the data provided because you know who issued it and that it hasn’t been forged or tampered with since it was issued. 
  3. Digital credentials are privacy protecting. Digital credentials can limit what information is shared. So rather than your organization asking to see the whole credential, the whole driver’s licence, the whole permit, the whole business registration, your organization only needs to ask for the information that you need and the person or organization sharing the credential keeps the rest of their information private.
  4. Digital credentials (aspire to be) compatible (also known as interoperable). This means that as adoption grows and the technology matures the goal is that we will be able to use any digital credentials with the same flexibility we use credit cards today.

Today more than ever, digital credentials are emerging as an essential strategic lever for navigating a digital world securely and successfully.

Examples of how digital credentials can be leveraged by different industries

  • Professional services and technology: Improving data security, optimizing document management and regulatory compliance.
  • Health and safety: Enhancing patient record confidentiality, effective management of sensitive data.
  • Education: Digitization of student records, improvement of administrative and pedagogical processes.
  • Manufacturing companies: Improved traceability, optimized inventory and supply chain management.
  • Construction and utilities: Optimized project and technical document management, regulatory compliance.
  • Retail, hospitality and tourism: Improved customer experience, efficient management of online reservations and transactions.
  • Non-profit organizations: Transparent and secure donation management, optimized activity reporting.
  • Public services: Digitization of citizen services, improved efficiency and access to public information.

For further information, please contact education@dtlab-labcn.org