To navigate well in the digital world, we must be able to easily and securely create our digital identity. Traditionally, usernames, passwords, and some trivial secrets like the name of our first pet have been important information organizations must establish our digital identity. Unfortunately, this system is expensive.
Reliance on third parties to store our personal information securely is a risky and often lose-lose proposition. The number of robberies stealing personal data is staggering. Among the top 15 data breaches, 3.5 billion people were stolen from their personal data. And when our personal information is lost, we cannot return it. It is exposed to be used by attackers to inflict damage – a very familiar scenario.
Fortunately, we can improve the security of personal information and address privacy issues through decentralized identity solutions such as Self-Identification or SSI. The basic principle of SSI is that people can control the use, sharing and access of their personal data, not third parties and central authorities. SSI is creating secure digital wallets on smartphones using decentralized blockchain technology that allows people to exchange identities without compromising security.
Related: Blockchain Technology and Economic and Independent Digital IDs
Instead of relying on a third party to store personal information, SSI creates a level of trust and security by securing the personal information of the person at their disposal. People can freely share their personal data – in a limited way and without the ability to copy it – via their smartphones. This process also gives the person requesting the data confidence that the shared data is accurate as it is verified by a trusted third party.
Interest in the secure sharing of personal data via SSI has increased significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the framework of open societies and economies, solutions are emerging to communicate and deliver our digital health information. For example, leading companies in the industry are developing confidential and safe ways to certify COVID-19 test results that can enable companies, industries, and healthcare organizations to safely resume business. Other innovators are working on digital certificates to enable people to prove they are cured of the virus, or if their tests are positive or negative, to help people return to normal.
These solutions, also known as health clearances, can provide conclusive evidence that a person has antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19, or that they have been vaccinated since the vaccine was developed and launched. These passports allow those who trust the virus to be infected or spread to return to their workplaces and public places, where people can quickly provide reliable and reliable health data. For example, companies can scan a QR code on the phone at the entrance to a building. People can have the peace of mind to move freely through society and begin their journey to normalcy.
The immediate need to share personal health data during the pandemic has proven to be a catalyst for interest in decentralized solutions of identification. However, these decisions are not limited to health data. We can adapt them for a wide range of uses, such as accessing financial and public services, going to university and even replacing government library cards and / or driver’s licenses.
The value of a secure identity that is easy to communicate and verify cannot be overemphasized. The widespread use of solutions such as SSI will eliminate the risk of using usernames and passwords when logging into websites. And even when personal information is compromised, the name, Social Security number or birthdate doesn’t matter, because criminals cannot do anything with this information without the necessary SSI. We are entering a world where thieves cannot open a bank account or get a credit card in someone else’s name.
A safe and easy-to-use decentralized definition will help everyone. This will have a particularly positive impact on people in underrepresented societies where victims of crimes against people have fewer resources to rebuild their lives.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our online lives even more, the time has passed when our country should have SSI for all citizens. Unfortunately, this is the golden age of cybercrime, a crime that often suffers from people who bear it the least.