By Frederick Kerrest January 11, 2018
In the wake of the Equifax breach and countless others compromising Americans’ privacy, one thing has become clear: It’s time to get rid of Social Security numbers.
While a string of digits on a paper card did the job in the 1930s, and got the government’s stamp of approval for identification purposes in 1972, it’s irresponsible for those nine numbers to continue to be the universal identifier for every part of our lives. We can do better; even the White House says so.
But the natural follow-up question—“What’s the replacement?”—is where things get complicated. We could have a digital, national ID card system like Estonia, but that’s proven to have its own security issues. We could use biometric technology to validate identities, using retina scans or facial recognition software, but these systems aren’t foolproof.
What about blockchain? Does the new, buzzy technology have the potential to one day replace Social Security numbers?
More at: Commentary: Blockchain Could Replace Social Security Numbers – Fortune
By David Pimentel November 17, 2017
Moldova, an Eastern European country and former Soviet republic, is planning to use blockchain technology to stop child trafficking.
United Nations recently teamed with blockchain firm World Identity Network (WIN) to explore the use of new technologies and solutions, such as digital identity on the blockchain, to increase the chance of catching traffickers and securing data on an immutable ledger, further making any such trafficking attempts more traceable and preventable.
Digital identification experts from the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) recently met with officials in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, to discuss how blockchain can help solving the exploitation of children.
More at: Moldova to Use Blockchain Technology to Eradicate Child Trafficking – BlockTribune
By Landon Mutch November 16, 2017
BM and SecureKey Technologies, a Toronto-based startup founded 2008, with approximately 100 employees, and offices in Boston and San Francisco, have partnered with the Canadian Federal Government and the majority of Canadian banks in a bold initiative to solve the ubiquitous problem of personal identity security and authentication. Collectively, they are building and implementing a new national identity blockchain technology for Canadian citizens. IBM and SecureKey are building the identity network using Hyperledger’s blockchain technology, which the Canadian government and major financial institutions are already integrating at the highest levels.
A Permissioned Blockchain Driving Innovation
Despite the steady increase in identity theft, most of the world relies almost exclusively on increasingly weak and vulnerable forms of identity security and authentication. The World Economic Forum estimates the average user has over 130 authorization credentials, i.e., username and password pairs. Dealing with the ever-increasing burden of juggling our various credentials is no easy task, and all too often we fall into dangerous habits such as reusing predictable usernames and passwords across all our services. Stopgap fixes, such as two-factor authentication and credential managers, can actually compound the problem by adding even more vulnerable credentials to the heap. In two whitepapers, SecureKey described the inherent difficulties of current identity security and proposed a blockchain solution and has called on telcos to play a more active role in the identity and fintech industries.
On March 20, 2017, an IBM press release said “Together SecureKey and IBM are developing a digital identity and attribute sharing network using IBM’s Blockchain service which is built on top of the Linux Foundation’s open source Hyperledger Fabric v1.0… The network is currently in the testing phase in Canada, and once it goes live later in 2017 Canadian consumers will be able to opt-in to the new blockchain-based service using a mobile app.”
More at: IBM, SecureKey Technologies Upload Canadian Citizen Identities to the Blockchain – BTCMANAGER
By Lyra Reyes November 1, 2017
Online banking in Korea gets blockchain-powered
Seoul-based blockchain solution provider theloop announced the launch of CHAIN ID, Korea’s new standard for secure online identification. It is the first major security update in the country’s online banking for nearly 20 years.
CHAIN ID is a blockchain-enabled identification systems that lets customers use the same certificate across the 25 banks and securities companies already in the Korea Financial Investment Blockchain Consortium, eliminating the need to register with each individual financial institution or to check with a central authority like the Korea Information Certificate Authority.
More at: Captain’s Log, Nov 1: Korea launches nationwide blockchain-powered banking identification – e27.co
By Neil Hughes October 30, 2017
In a unique implementation of blockchain technology, Japanese tech giant Sony has investigated using a distributed ledger to create a multi-factor authentication system for secure user logins.
Sony’s system would give uses two different credentials to log into a website, such as a username and password alongside an authentication token. Blockchain would actually be used in two ways: To verify the user’s identity, and also to generate the token required for login.
Sony’s interest in the new blockchain use case was revealed in a patent application published this month by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, first discovered by Coindesk. It notes that the system could be used for transferring data, contracts, or money, while the company added in a statement that it could also be used for supply chain and logistics.
More at: Sony patent describes using blockchain for multi-factor authentication user logins – One World Identity
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
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