Big things are happening in the digital identity space, here we outline just a few recent articles we think everyone should hear about.

By Tim Spring

Digital ID bill sees action in the House and Senate

FCW reports that a bill focused on increasing federal government participation in the digital identity ecosystem has been reintroduced in  the House and a counterpart has been  created and introduced to the Senate. The goal of these bills is to “set up a task force on digital identity and establish a grant program at the Department of Homeland Security to support the creation of interoperable identity credentialing systems for digital identity verification on the state and local level.” The original bill was drafted in 2020, spurred by the increase in identity fraud that has occurred during the COVID 19 pandemic, but was never voted out of committee.

Will EU digital identity drop the unique identifier?

As reported by Biometric Update, the European Union has been working on a digital ID system that would allow member states to issue digital identification to their citizens for travel across borders or proving their identity in general across the EU. However, it appears that EU officials are having second thoughts on a key element of the proposed ID system — a mandate for all EU members to incorporate unique identifiers in their digital IDs. As privacy advocates have pointed out, a unique identifier for each person would mean they could be tracked across any government database.

Such a tracking device would be currently illegal in both the Netherlands and Austria, and unconstitutional in Germany. New language in a proposed amendment from the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy opens the door to technical solutions that secure personal data and ensure trust, such as “cryptographically verifiable identifiers, unique user-generated digital pseudonyms, self-sovereign identities and domain specific identifiers using state of the art encryption technology.”

Why digital identity will make or break the Metaverse

In a comment piece in Engineering and Technology, Onfido’s Matt Peake argues that with marquee brands like Coke and Nike creating experiences in the metaverse, verified identities are critical to preventing fraud:

“Without verified identities in the Metaverse, anonymous bots can wreak havoc. For businesses, business people and celebrities, impersonators can cause damage to their brand and reputation, not to mention the new opportunities it creates for scammers and fraudsters. Ensuring trusted identity will therefore be fundamental to the safety and success of the Metaverse.”

While anonymity is ok, there must be a real person behind the avatar, says Peake. Age verification is critical too — in fact, all the problems we have with identity online are likely to cause havoc in this emerging virtual space. While Peake says the time to address this is now, as the Metaverse is being created, he is short on actual solutions to verify identities. Not so at Indicio, we’re working with Bonifii and Liquid Avatar Technologies to implement privacy-preserving verifiable credentials and decentralized identity in the Metaverse now.

Young people at greater risk of falling victim to identity fraud

GBG, a UK-based identity verification, location intelligence and fraud prevention company, has released its State of Digital Identities 2022 report. Key findings: Mobile business is increasingly conducted through smart phones, with 67% of decision makers at companies saying that they conduct business this way. And — contrary to what one might expect — young people are more likely to be the victims of digital fraud than those aged over 55: 13% of people aged 18 to 24 across Europe have been victims in the past 12 months, 12% for 25 – 34, and 9% for 35-44, compared to only 4% for 55 and older. One possible reason—younger generations may expect security to be built into the tech they use, with only 62% of young adults responding that it’s their responsibility to protect their information (in contrast to the average of 76% that said it was the user’s responsibility across all age groups).

“Young adults are often labeled by businesses as the most tech-savvy demographic. But there is a large section of this age group who believe dealing with online security should be companies’ responsibility, rather than them looking after it themselves.”