Digital Identity is Vital for Online Privacy, However Who’s Leading the Cram in 2021?

by | Jan 15, 2021 | Cards | 1 comment

As we live out more and more of our lives online, the requirement for an extensive digital identity solution is becoming more pressing, and for several great factors. And perhaps the most considerable chauffeur from the individual point of view, is privacy.

The increasing shift to digital means users should leave electronic copies of delicate paper files like passports or identity cards littered throughout the internet. Additionally, high profile data breaches have become so stabilized, they hardly break news headlines any longer. In one of the most recent instances to impact a high-profile firm, Spotify was required to reset user passwords after it admitted that it had actually dripped consumer data to its third-party service partners. The typical user currently has around 100 online account passwords to manage, producing a poor online experience with too much friction.

From the enterprise perspective, firms are likewise taking obligation for substantial swathes of user information. In many situations, it would be easier for them to browse information protection legislation such as the EU GDPR were they not to collect it.

The answer to all this depends on gearing up users with self-sovereign digital identities. The general concept is that people will hold all of their data in an online wallet and choose for themselves which celebrations have access. Although there are numerous methods, using blockchain innovation is a popular choice since it uses several advantages, including user personal privacy and control thanks to public-key encryption.

With the principle of digital health passports on the horizon following the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, there’s a powerful important to provide a suitable service.

1. Concordium

Concordium is a new, enterprise-grade blockchain platform set to introduce on mainnet in early2021 Unlike the majority of public blockchains, which are asserted on the concepts of pseudonymity, Concordium has actually integrated an identity layer connected to the real world.

When users produce a Concordium account, they have to provide their ID or other qualifications to an off-chain identity company. The supplier then develops their on-chain digital identity, which makes use of zero-knowledge evidence. These evidence permit any 2 celebrations to engage with the ability to validate that the parties are recognizable however without exposing their actual qualifications.

To put this into a real-world context, a merchant selling age-restricted items might validate that a customer is of the proper age for a purchase, however the consumer wouldn’t have to reveal their birth date.

A built-in compliance mechanism makes sure an account can be identified if there’s a legal requirement to do so. The Concordium Foundation selects a group called “privacy revokers.” Upon getting a lawfully valid order, the anonymity revoker can decrypt the user’s account, enabling the identity service provider to expose the off-chain qualifications to the legal authorities. Nevertheless, nobody other than the identity service provider ever deals with the determining files, ensuring that the user can transact in total personal privacy for almost all daily functions.

Concordium is being established by a group that includes heavyweights from service and academic community. CEO Lone Fønss Scrøder holds senior executive positions at Volvo and IKEA, while creator Lars Seier Christensen established financial investment bank Saxo in the 1990 s.

2. Microsoft

Tech giant Microsoft is also leading the pack on digital identity, and maybe surprisingly, is likewise championing a decentralized technique utilizing blockchain as a structure. Even more remarkably, Microsoft chose to use the Bitcoin blockchain as a facilities layer for its digital ID.

The Identity Overlay Network (ION) is based upon Microsoft’s blockchain-agnostic Sidetree procedure, developed to develop scalable digital ID networks. The ION is developed to deliver digital ID services at scale while benefiting from the security and decentralization of the Bitcoin network. The business introduced a beta variation of ION in June2020


Microsoft, in addition to Accenture, the Rockefeller Foundation, and vaccine alliance Gavi, is an establishing member of the ID2020 Alliance devoted to equipping everybody worldwide with an identity. As the outcome of a collaboration with Microsoft on digital identities, payment leviathan Mastercard also joined ID2020 last year.

3. Elastos

Elastos is on an objective to build a decentralized web of value, with the principle of self-sovereign digital identity at its core. When a user register for Elastos, they’re instantly assigned a digital ID to utilize with any application operating on the network.

Recently, Elastos validated that it had actually launched a privacy-centric messenger application called Hyper, which will quickly be offered for the Android and iOS operating systems. Whereas many existing messenger services harvest user information, Elastos guarantees users of total privacy. They can sign up using their Elastos digital ID, and messages are sent using the Elastos Provider network of dispersed nodes, meaning that user interactions aren’t even kept on any servers.

The launch comes after the task also released a decentralized, privacy-focused file storage service for applications running on the network.

Elastos was founded by Rong Chen, one of the Internet’s original developers and a former executive at Microsoft. He left big tech with the idea of developing Elastos as an open-source, decentralized variation of the internet that puts the user in control. The Elastos Foundation recently signed up with the World Economic Online forum as part of its efforts to bring ethical standards to information collection.

This list is far from exhaustive.

Therefore, it appears not likely in the end that there will be “one digital identity to rule them all.” Even incremental steps in improving user privacy and lowering the administration involved in access rights and data management will be a huge enhancement over the status quo.

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