Decentralized Identity: Weekly Reads June 5 2020

New to self-sovereign identity? Looking to learn more? I’ve made you a list of this week’s top five reads along with brief summaries to help you keep tabs on the latest developments, thought leaders, and innovations in the digital identity world.

  1. How self-sovereign identity mitigates fraud and builds a more inclusive future by GlobaliD – 6/4/20, Medium

TL:DR

  • The intThis article highlights a major disparity in current financial systems: Criminals operate easily and undetected while billions, often underprivileged, still lack access to a basic checking account. This is the result of banks and financial institutions investing only in compliance measures while failing to proactively catch bad actors in the system.

  • GlobaliD cites staggering statistics showing how current actions are ineffective ineffective. It’s estimated that 98-99 percent of money laundering goes undetected. So while regulators are pleased with high compliance standards, criminals are able to take advantage of legitimate customers.

  • Decentralized identity technology makes it possible for financial institutions to comply with KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti Money Laundering) regulations while verifying the legitimacy of their customers, essentially barring bad actors from producing fake IDs and entering the system undetected.
  1. New York State Assembly, Bill A10462 – 5/26/20

TL:DR

  • New legislation specifying an individual’s right to self-sovereign digital identity and the use of cryptographically provable data was recently entered into the New York State Assembly. This, along with other recent pieces of data privacy-oriented legislation, is a major step for the adoption of decentralized identity technology.

  • The bill’s three major tenents:

    (a) Every individual has a right of self-sovereign identity whereby they can issue, revoke, and recover their identity autonomously.

     

    (b) Every individual has the right to use their self-sovereign identity to submit provable information about themselves and have such information accepted as valid if it has been attested to cryptographically by an acceptable authority.

     

    (c) Every self-sovereign identity system has the right to create a cryptographically secure digital signature, which shall be accepted as legally binding if properly attested to as representing the individual by an acceptable authority or authorities.”

  1. An introduction to Lissi — Let’s initiate self-sovereign identity by Lissi 5/19/20, Medium

TL:DR

  • Lissi, an EU-based research initiative, is developing a decentralized identity platform to identify, authenticate, and authorize individuals, legal entities, and things.

  • Lissi is a consortium funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics as part of a competition revolving around digital identity solutions. An identity network is currently  being created across various locations in Germany for test purposes.

  • The goal is to develop an identity ecosystem that is interoperable with other European and international networks. An interoperable network will reduce friction and increase trust in commercial, administrative, and private transactions.
  1. The Case for Using Self-Sovereign Identity for Immunity Passports by Merry Marwig- 5/22/20, Research Hu

TL:DR

  • This article showcases a highly relevant use case for decentralized identity: using trusted credentials to allow individuals to prove their immunity in order to gain access to a physical space—all without relinquishing private information.

  • This author clearly explains the relationship of the digital wallet to the public blockchain, noting that an individual’s personal information, such as a COVID-19 test result, would only be stored in the digital wallet on their mobile device, and not on the publicly accessible blockchain. The blockchain would only hold information that shows that the credential issuer had issued the credential at a certain time and date.

  • A common question surrounding digital wallets is, “What if my mobile device is stolen and I lose my digital wallet? Marwig explains that, like a real-world wallet, if a user loses their digital wallet, they would be able to rebuild it by obtaining new credentials from credential issuers such as the DMV, insurance provider, etc.

5. Digital ID is the Future by Zeke Hudson- 5/21/20, Credit Union 2.0

TL:DR

  • This piece highlights a few of the many areas in which our current ID’s play a role: booking flights and rental cars, reserving hotel rooms, applying for jobs, etc. All of these processes require us to manually present our identification, and we often end up presenting more private data than is actually necessary. Our current physical ID’s are also susceptible to being stolen, modified, or faked.

  • Hudson explains that he is surprised that an international digital identification system, let alone a national one, hasn’t yet been implemented. In recent years, a major push for a global standard in digital ID has emerged and is being led by organizations such as the Sovrin Foundation.

  • Many consumers fear that their private information will be stored in a massive remote database, such as in the cases of Equifax and Capital— both of whom have fallen victim to major data breaches in recent years. This article makes the crucial distinction that SSI allows for owners to control their own data, keeping it out of these massive databanks.


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