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New technologies to improve identity processes

Which new technologies can help drastically improve identity processes?


Identify scanning tools such as IDScan and On do, as well as PEPs and sanctions databases such as the Orbis database provided by Bureau van Dijk, with all data available in API format, as well as having the ability through machine learning, to update and change the rules relating to the identity verification process, and assigning specific scores to companies across a range of criteria in addition to credit.

In addition to identity issues in the UK and EU, there are significant challenges in emerging markets. Establishment of National eID programmes play a crucial role: political will needs to drive and oversee the standards, security and trust aspects – UN/ World Bank ID4D targets every person on earth to have a legal ID by 2030. Countries such as India, have made advances driven by the government, introducing identity based on fingerprint technology on a massive scale, with a roll-out across the majority of its 1.3Billion population. This political will has spurred multiple sources of identity-related innovations. In addition, new technologies, such as blockchain are testing identify verification, as well as new standards emerging enabling further compatibility and interoperability. There is no question that mobile identity dominates all form of innovation underway.

MEGAN CAYWOOD, Chief Platform Officer, Starling Bank

There is a lot of work being done in the space of AI, Machine Learning, and APIs to improve the identity process. I suspect it will be a combination of the three that will solve this challenge in the technology ecosystem.

TRENT MCCONAGHY, Founder of Ocean Protocol

It’s a win any time that I as a customer can get more direct visibility and control of my data – financial and otherwise. My ideal is where *I* control all my data, that is, I and I alone possess the private keys to it, and I choose who and when to let others see or use that data. This is the direction we’re headed. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are “private key first” ecosystems, and this thinking will permeate more traditional financial and identity ecosystems too.

The vision is the sovereign individual, which includes me having full control of my data and giving permission as needed; and getting privacy when I want it. Building blocks to this include:

• DID (decentralized identifier) protocol which generalises a bit on private keys to makes key recovery, key rotation (for better anonymity) and more easier.

• names that are secure, human-meaningful and decentralized all at once (Zooko’s triangle); this is now possible using blockchains for decentralized naming systems.

• new algorithms that preserve my privacy while computing on my data (eg zero-knowledge proofs, multi-party compute)

• attestation that is decentralized and secure, via blockchain technology. E.g. I only have to do KYC once. E.g. institution X can digitally sign that I got a degree from it.

• and more. It’s mostly blockchain combined with old&new crypto that is making the big differences here.


Obviously, biometrics will reduce the burden of “What you know”. But in parallel, new generation ID document authentication technology will do the same and mitigate the pitfalls of partial, inaccurate, not always updated data by detecting forgery and counterfeiting far deeper and more reliably. Thus on-device capabilities, as well as back-office automation, will drive migration of the identification process from a keyboard to button. Thus identification will become more professional and systematic and less dependent on customer skill, patience, memory, etc.

Cognitive computing players will be game changers in image processing, risk detection and decision analytics. Big data players who can deal with live data rather than historical repositories can be game changers. Distributed computing specialists will enable faster, safer identi cation and value allocation. And IoT success cases will expand the concept of identi cation to customers’ household, transportation and work devices.

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