SecureKey : Consumer Digital Identity Leveraging Blockchain

DIACC has urged that Canada should become a Nation of Digital Identity.

DIACC is an industry organization for Digital Identity, with a mission to unlock interoperable capabilities of the public and private sector to secure Canada’s full and beneficial participation in the digital economy.

SecureKey is one of the participating vendors, a headline example of Canada’s pedigree in the field of Digital Identity.

They are a long term veteran and pioneer of identity innovations, such as recently launching ‘Verified.Me‘, a web service for users to proactively verify their online identities.

As the BitcoinExchange reported the service has been chosen by five Canadian banks to provide blockchain-powered identity and authentication solution for their customers.

Examples of their growing international success include being an enabling component part of Digital Bazaar’s new proof of concept Identity service. Virginia based Digital Bazaar focuses on open payment and credential projects, with mainly large enterprises and federal governments as clients.

SecureKey executive Andre Boysen appeared before the US Congress Financial Services Committee to share their experiences of building a Canadian Identity ecosystem – Clearly this is policy influencing at the highest possible global level, and demonstrative of the massive international potential for Canada in this field.


Consumer Digital Identity Leveraging Blockchain

SecureKey recently published a forum white paper: Consumer Digital Identity Leveraging Blockchain.

Based on research funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate, this paper explores an ‘Identity Network’ that is being implemented by SecureKey on Blockchain technology, that aims to provide a foundational service to accelerate the digital economy.

It explores the digitization of offline business processes where the validation of identity is a keystone requirement, typically using government issued identification documents. For example a person opens a bank account by presenting their passport or drivers licence.

Currently much of the process can be completed online, the associated identity verification from the collected sources can be cross-checked with online services, but the missing piece is still the the verification by the bank of the identity of the individual presenting reliable digital identity credentials. Therefore, identity proofing or confidence continues to rely on tedious “in person” processes.

SecureKey envisions the rise of multiple Identity Networks, collaborating ecosystems of the organizations required to complete this verification entirely electronically, to address this last missing link.

This Network is an example of a “Digital Asset exchange” that allows users to authorize the exchange of shareable verified data between Network Participants, under a common operating protocol without the need for Network Participants to integrate directly.

Digital Lockbox

A user’s shareable data in the Network are represented as ‘Digital Assets’, which are associated to a user’s network account, or ‘Digital Lockbox’.

This is maintained by their Digital Lockbox Provider (DLBP), who the user authenticates with to then manage and share their data across the Identity Network that the provider participates in. The DLBP provide authentication services, lockbox management, and license management interfaces to the user, as well as hosting the required distributed Ledger Nodes that make up the Network, a distributed application and state database backed by HyperLedger Fabric blockchain technology.

Conclusion

This inter-operating network of Identity Providers is the digital economy of the future. Where the Internet has enabled ‘phase one’, the raw IP networking interconnecting every computer, each of the individual applications on those computers still operates as an isolated island of data. All of its issues, from security breaches through offensive and anonymous social media behaviours, arise from the lack of a ubiquitous Identity layer.

The second phase will see the rise of a “dataweb”, the same interconnectedness but for personal and business data achieved through these Identity Networks, with the Blockchain ensuring the integrity of their transactions. This ‘trust fabric’ will then facilitate an entirely new generation of online business models and capabilities.

The vast economic growth that the first phase of the Internet has catalyzed to date will be dwarfed by the even larger boom that this trend will enable and accelerate, and Canada is ideally positioned to a global leader and provider of the technologies that make it possible. Organizations like DIACC and SecureKey are laying the foundations for this success.

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