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New Normal, Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0

Trust | Transparency | Traceability

Evolving Identity Management Self-Sovereign Identity

22 August 2021   |   Blockchain, Emerging Tech

Paper-based Identity has a problem. It is subject to loss and theft, and fraud. A digital identity minimises bureaucracy & increases processes within organisations by allowing for greater interoperability between departments and other institutions. The disadvantages being if this digital Identity is stored in a central server also becomes a target for hackers.

Since 2017 alone, more than 600 million personal details – such as addresses or credit card numbers – have been hacked, leaked or breached.

The first model of digital identity management is siloed. Organisations used to issue a digital identity credential to a user to allow them to access its services. User is supposed to maintain/remember digital Identity and credentials for every new organisation they to interact. They are resulting in a more inferior user experience. One has to remember all the websites and had to register and create unique passwords and login details.

The second model of digital identity management is “Federated“. Third parties began issuing digital identity credentials that allow users to log in to services and other websites. Examples are “Login with Facebook“, “Login with Google“, and “Login with LinkedIn” functionalities. This raises privacy and security concerns.

Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and others became the middlemen of trust.

The emergence of Blockchain technology, Decentralised Identifiers and Verifiable Credentials allows the creation of a third model of identity management, “Self-Sovereign Identity”.

What is Self Sovereign Identity?

A Self-Sovereign Identity is an identity you own. It’s yours. Only you hold it on your digital identity wallet and only decide who gets to “see” it and what to get to “see”.

The World Wide Web Consortium(W3C) conceptualised and standardised the Verifiable Credentials protocol as one of the three pillars of Self-Sovereign Identity; others are Decentralised Identifiers Protocol and Distributed Ledger Technology (or Blockchain)

According to W3C, “Verifiable credentials represent statements made by an issuer in a tamper-evident and privacy-respecting manner.” Verifiable Credentials helps in preserving privacy in two levels

E.g. If you have to prove your age from a Driver’s License and if you are not comfortable sharing the address that comes in the Driver’s license credential, you can verify your age by skipping the address from the credential.

Decentralised Identifiers (DIDs)

DIDs are an integral part of Self-Sovereign Identity. It allows for the creation of unique, private and secure peer-to-peer connections between two parties.

Currently, we are dependent on the identifiers from such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, otherwise known intermediaries, email providers or mobile network operators to connect us. This has significant concerns for our privacy since the data gathered by those parties from the interactions over those connections are not within our control.

Blockchain

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), commonly called “Blockchain Technology,” provides control over data evolution between entities through a peer-to-peer network, using consensus algorithms.

simplified as

In identity management, a distributed ledger (a “blockchain”) enables everyone in the network to have one source of truth about which credentials are valid and who attested to the validity of the data inside the credential, without revealing the actual data.

Focus Sectors: Blockchain-based Application and digital identity commercialisation services will serve as a new growth engine for the economy, especially during the present and ongoing period of the Industrial 4.0 revolution. The different sectors could be through various Applications (such as End-point, Network, Infrastructure), Industry Verticals (such as BFSI, Telecom and IT, Government, Healthcare and Lifesciences, Transport and Logistics, Travel and Travel Hospitality, etc.).

Market Value: Research and Markets forecast that the global identity verification market size will increase from $7.6 billion in 2020 to $15.8 billion by 2025. The main drivers behind this growth derived from the gradual digital transformation of retail, education, health care, etc.

Use Cases (Benefits): The three essential benefits in the used cases can be categorised into

1. Building Trust with Citizens

A key feature of blockchain-based solutions is transparency through decentralisation, allowing participating parties to see and verify data. A blockchain solution for some citizen services could allow for independent verification of governmental claims

2. Protecting Sensitive Data

Breaches of personal data have become a fact of life in today’s digital world. As the default record keeper for society, governments are prominent targets for hackers. But rather than accept such attacks as the cost of doing business in the information era, it could be mitigated or avoided through the responsible deployment of blockchain data structures. Such data structures can reduce the single-point-of-failure risk and can make attempting a breach tough and challenging.

3. Reducing Costs & Improving Efficiency

Blockchain solutions could reduce redundancy, streamline processes, decrease audit burden, increase security, and ensure data integrity.

Value from Data: The International Data Corporation reports suggest that by 2025 the global datasphere will grow to 163 zettabytes (one zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes), which is ten times (comparable to) the level in 2016. And specific to emerging economies (like India), McKinsey examines and estimates that the essential digital ID alone could unlock 50 to 70 per cent of the total value of the specific countries economic potential, assuming adoption rates of about 70 per cent. Therefore, careful system design and considered decisions on integrating emerging technology will create more and more no use-cases covering all critical aspects of system ownership, front- and back-end infrastructure and processes, and program governance.

QR code access-based management: The QR Code based identification itself (along with the Digital Identity Management) helps in the simple process of authentication that offers convenience to users while increasing the overall security of an organisation/network/value chain at the same time.

Conclusion: Based on the emergence and critical features of valuable integration of Blockchain and Digital Identity Management, many critical approaches or use-cases could be raised to enhance the decentralisation feature with user identity control. Based on the validation mentioned above, TRST01, through its QR enabled Blockchain technology, has the ability and typical architecture for live integrations and implementations.

Please share your observations journey@trst01.com

Reference

Self-Sovereign Identity: The Ultimate Beginners Guide!.

https://tykn.tech/self-sovereign-identity/

Digital ID: A key to inclusive growth | McKinsey.

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/digital-identification-a-key-to-inclusive-growth

3 Potential Benefits of Blockchain for Government.

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