Stay Compliant: New Regulation Addressing Virtual Identity Verification in Ontario
The Law Society of Ontario initially permitted virtual client identification without authentication of ID documents until 31 December 2023 as a short-term emergency measure in response to COVID-19 public health regulations. However, this regulation will change effective 1 January 2024. The Law Society of Ontario has required lawyers and paralegals who verify identities virtually to authenticate ID documents. This is aligned with the By-Law 7.1, which demands the documents to be genuine, valid, current, and serves as a precaution against fraud, money laundering, and other criminal conduct.
Licensees must utilize a methodology or procedure to assess whether an individual’s ID document is genuine and authentic in the context of virtual verification. Licensees can determine its legitimacy by doing the following:
- Asking the individual to capture their government-issued photo identification document with the camera on an electronic device,
- and using technology to compare the security features of the ID document photo against known characteristics (e.g., holograms, format, etc.).
To comply with this new regulation, Keesing AuthentiScan’s technology can automatically virtually verify the ID document. We are honored to be recognized by DIACC (Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada) as a trusted identity verification vendor.
How does it work?
- After receiving a copy of the document through an electronic device, you simply upload the document to AuthentiScan.
- Within seconds, the system generates a result based on specific checks (for example: MRZ, crosschecks between VIZ and MRS fields, and patterns on documents).
- If the system marks the document as ‘doubtful’, it is forwarded to the Keesing Expert Helpdesk (optional). A dedicated team of ID document experts will inspect the copy of the document and conclude within 15 minutes if it is forged or genuine.
Over 6,000 organisations including those in the law enforcement industry have relied on Keesing since its founding in 1911. It is fully compliant with AML & KYC regulations and handles data securely according to GDPR guidelines. You can accurately check over 6,000 documents from 200+ countries and issuing authorities.