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Worldwide, more than 4 billion people are connected to the internet, spending an average of roughly six hours per day on internet-enabled devices and services. In Thailand and the Philippines, average daily usage is 9.5 hours; in the United States, 26 percent of the population is online "almost constantly"; and 1 billion more people in the world are projected to join the ranks of internet users by 2022 . One promising solution is already being deployed in some countries: digital identification.The case for "digital IDs" -- the electronic equivalent of physical identification -- is strong. In Estonia, 98 percent of the population have an electronic ID, and 99 percent of public services, including voting, can be accessed online.Digital IDs could even establish a means to control data and digital footprints in interconnected online ecosystems.Overall, we estimate that high adoption of digital ID could help produce economic value equivalent to 3 percent of GDP in a typical advanced economy and as much as 6 percent in a typical emerging economy.Poorly planned digital ID systems do carry risks.
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