DHS Seeking Top-Level Identity Security – iHLS

October 12, 2017

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded a $749,241 Small Business Innovation Program (SBIR) contract to Digital Bazaar, Inc. to develop blockchains for identity and access management.

Under the SBIR Phase II contract, the company will develop a flexible software that combines distributed ledger technology and digital wallets to address a wide variety of identity management and online access use cases for the Homeland Security Enterprise (HSE).

“Blockchain technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way we manage online identity and access the internet,” said Cyber Security Division (CSD) Director Douglas Maughan. “This R&D project will help bring this potential closer to reality.”

More at: DHS Seeking Top-Level Identity Security – iHLS

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IBM and Hyperledger Project Joined the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) – CoinSpeaker

By Catherine Zemskova    October 12, 2017

IBM and Hyperledger Project became the part of the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF).

DIF is a consortium whose members are giant companies like Microsoft and Accenture, such blockchain startups as Blockstack, Civic, Gem, IDEO, Netki and Tierion.

Key players of the DIF’s team have different experience and background, they are originated from different parts of the world, some of them are competitors. But they all united for a single goal which is promotion of the belief that identity is composed of a deeply personal collection of data that defines people.

The activity of DIF is based on the prerogative of data protection. The person’s data cannot be distributed without his consent, he himself establishes access to them, he himself sets the amount of time during which his personal information can be accessed. A person controls personal data and it cannot be shared in any way.

More at: IBM and Hyperledger Project Joined the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) – CoinSpeaker

IBM, Hyperledger Join Blockchain Identity Consortium – CoinDesk

By Marc Hochstein    October 11, 2017

IBM and Hyperledger have signed on with the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF), a consortium formed earlier this year in a bid to promote interoperability and standards for blockchain-based ID systems.

The two enterprise blockchain heavyweights join a diverse group of organizations, including big corporates like Microsoft and Accenture, startups such as Civic and Gem, as well as open-source projects like uPort and Sovrin.

“This should be a signal that there is broad agreement in this area that crosses some significant strategic [and] organizational boundaries,” Daniel Buchner, the DIF’s executive director, told CoinDesk by email.

More at: IBM, Hyperledger Join Blockchain Identity Consortium – CoinDesk

Australian University Issues Academic Credentials on a Blockchain – Cryptocoins News

By Samburaj Das    October 11, 2017

The University of Melbourne, a public Australian university, has become the first academic institution in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region to issue recipient-owned academic credentials on a blockchain.

Following an early pilot first revealed in May, the University of Melbourne is now storing and issuing student records on a blockchain where recipients will be able to access their academic credentials on a mobile application. The open-source mobile app, available for iOS and Android, will facilitate students to store and share their academic credentials, the university announced.

Professor Gregor Kennedy, pro-vice chancellor of teaching and learning at the university revealed the institution is “very excited that its exploration of a new way of providing students with credentials was successful.”.

He added:

While we are entirely committed to existing degrees and awards that the University offers, we are also interested in exploring how we can build a more diverse credentialing ecosystem…Issuing credentials on the blockchain is a key component of this investigation.

More at: Australian University Issues Academic Credentials on a Blockchain – Cryptocoins News

ERC725: A Self-Sovereign Identity Standard For Ethereum – ETHNews.com

By Matthew De Silva    October 10, 2017

If you are who you say you are, then why must you prove it over and over again? One day, a blockchain-based standard could make the monotony of identity verification a relic of the past.

On October 2, 2017, Ethereum developer Fabian Vogelsteller created Ethereum Request for Comment 725 (ERC725) on GitHub. The ERC doesn’t even have an assigned Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) number, but within 24 hours, the plan for a standardized identity system for humans and machines reached the Twitterverse.

Vogelsteller is working on a critical development for Ethereum’s infrastructure. On GitHub, UX designer and fellow Ethereum Foundation member Alex Van de Sande called the ERC “very useful,” while suggesting some adjustments. In an email to ETHNews, Vogelsteller explained, “Identity is certainly one of the most [important] missing pieces in the Blockchain ecosystem, and I think this standard can fulfill that.”

More at: ERC725: A Self-Sovereign Identity Standard For Ethereum – ETHNews.com

Is Blockchain the Answer to Identity Management? – JDSupra

By Sean Lawless    October 10, 2017

Considering the recent Equifax data breach which put an estimated 145.5 million American’s identity at risk, main stream media outlets are starting to ask an important question; if we can’t stop data breaches, how do we project our identity? According to data from the Identity Theft Resource Center, U.S. companies and government agencies have disclosed 1,022 breaches in 2017 so far. The idea that the social security number is the foundation of our identity is under more scrutiny than ever. Bloomberg reported recently that the Trump administration is considering ways in which it can replace the social security number as a means of federal identification. So, can blockchain technology solve our identity management (IDM) problem?

More at: Is Blockchain the Answer to Identity Management? – JDSupra

Bloomberg – Want to Ditch Social Security Numbers? Try Blockchain – Security content from SuperSite for Windows

By Suzanne Woolley    October 10, 2017

In the wake of the huge Equifax data breach, which compromised the personal information of 145.5 million U.S. consumers, the Trump administration asked federal departments and agencies to do something bold: Come up with a new identity system that does not rely on overexposed and octogenarian Social Security numbers.

Other countries already enjoy just this kind of society in which there’s no unique nine-digit number that holds the key to anyone’s economic identity. The problem might not be imagining a world without Social Security numbers but surveying other systems to pick, and perhaps adapt, the best ones. “The U.S. doesn’t have to totally reinvent the wheel here,” said Daniel Castro, director of the Center for Data Innovation, a think tank.  Rob Joyce, special assistant to the president and White House cybersecurity coordinator, suggested at a recent conference in Washington that an improved system might involve technologies such as a “modern cryptographic identifier.” And in fact other countries already embrace blockchain and biometrics as backbones for government and private-sector systems. Often these tools are used in tandem with other authentication techniques to verify a citizen’s identity, provide easy access to services, and keep a permanent record of interactions. Whether these technologies now gaining momentum will prove enough protection against future cyberattacks will be the story to watch over the next few years.Here are some of the ways governments outside the U.S. have set up modern identity systems that allow citizens to share and protect their personal information.

More at: Bloomberg – Want to Ditch Social Security Numbers? Try Blockchain – Security content from SuperSite for Windows