5 Minutes with Jess Lim
We sat down with Jess Lim who is a principal designer, to discuss her role in the Service NSW Digital Identity Group Squad, why the Digital Identity and Verifiable Credentials product portfolio is so important, and how it will impact NSW businesses and customers in the future. In light of Privacy Awareness Week (1-7 May), we also asked her how privacy issues are shaping her work.
Can you tell us about what you do?
I am a Principal Designer working in the Digital Identity and Verifiable Credentials (DIVC) product portfolio. Digital verification of credentials like licences, certificates and qualifications will make it easier and safer to prove who you are and what you are qualified to do. I work with product, design, and stakeholder leads to refine and evolve the product strategy for widespread adoption of verifiable credentials.
What is the main project you are currently working on?
I am currently working with other designers to complete our initial research, which involves interviewing various issuers and verifiers from government to private sector organisations to understand their needs, challenges and opportunities. This will help us prioritise where DIVC can provide the most value and benefits.
I’m also collaborating with product leads to plan technical and user discovery, which will inform our future product roadmap.
What do you mean by Verifiable Credential?
A Verifiable Credential (or VC) is an attribute acquired by a person or business to prove their eligibility to do something. For example, a first aid certificate proves a person is up to date with their first aid training. Other examples include permits, memberships and qualifications.
Who are your key audience?
Our users include individuals, businesses, and government organisations in NSW. Basically, any party that wants to issue, verify or use a credential. This is a large-scale design challenge as we aim for mass market adoption using Web 3 technology, which is still very early in maturity.
What is on your mind for the path forward?
We have shared early findings from our research with the product teams and stakeholders, and our next step will be focusing on exploring other sectors of interest and how to encourage adoption as we combine multiple use cases and involve more users and organisations. DIVC will provide benefits such as fraud reduction, privacy protection, improved security, and process efficiencies on issuing and verification of credentials.
How can this project help address some of the privacy concerns customers face with digital?
We are looking at the ways people can securely share personal information with trusted organisations. Verifiable Credentials is a promising global standard that uses encryption and decentralisation to provide greater privacy and security.
Verifiable Credentials give people control to choose what personal information they share with a trusted organisation through a digital wallet.
Globally, Verifiable Credentials is still in very early stages. There are a few examples of large-scale Verifiable Credentials solutions. In NSW, we're defining the elements that will make digital transactions with Verifiable Credentials safer and more secure.
What is the fundamental step behind strong privacy for citizens?
Strong legislation and safeguards are the foundations that help protect people's personal information. Designing an experience for customers that maintains privacy and supports informed consent is important too. They all help build trust to support this new way people share personal information in their digital interactions.
What is your proudest work moment from the last 12 months?
As a newly formed portfolio, we have made significant progress in less than a year. We have a passionate team that enjoys the challenges of working in a digital transformation space with many unknowns and uncharted territories. My proudest moment is yet to come - when we deliver our first Verifiable Credential in a digital wallet that can be used and shared safely.
Overall, our work has the potential for huge positive social and economic impact which will be incredibly rewarding to see when it is available for the community.