How Blockchain Impact Digital Identity

Digital identity, which is also known as identity 2.0, is made up of all those traits or characteristics that identify us in the online environment and constitutes the anticipated revolution in online identity verification, based on the main use of emerging technologies focused especially on the figure of the internet user or online technologies.

It is made up of both of the user’s data present in the 2.0 world and of their actions (opinions, photos, navigation, etc.), but also of the publications that have been made about them.

Blockchain On Digital Identity

Additionally, it must be taken into account that the digital identity is made up of the different attributes that we share on the various platforms, in such a way that different digital identities, today, correspond to the same person. That is why it can be affirmed that users can project more than one digital identity through multiple communities.

Digital identity is therefore the Internet equivalent of the true identity of a person or entity (such as a business agency or the government) when used for identification in connections

Identity 2.0 does not necessarily correspond to the real identity of an individual or corporation, but it does affect their reputation and the image that other users have of them.

That trail that makes up the digital identity is made up of a series of impacts from different sources.

Some of Them are as Follows:

a). Personal profiles

General social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Myspace, etc.) and professional (Xing, Viadeo, LinkedIn, etc.), and job search portals.

b). Comments

In discussions, online journals, data gateways, informal communities, YouTube, and so forth.

c). Digital content

Photos on social networks (such as the girl in the video), videos on Vimeo, Slideshare presentations or documents published on websites, personal websites, a blog, etc.

d). Contacts

Our friends, professional contacts, followers and whom we follow, etc., and, Email addresses.

F). Instant messaging

Messenger, Irc, etc

For this reason, it can be affirmed that today, digital identity constitutes a key aspect of the new decentralized internet. With decentralized digital identity we can imagine what a world in which citizens own their information could be like and how this could create all kinds of new business models and facilities for citizens or users of all kinds of services.

As Diaz recently explained. In an article, many online identity systems are created with the purpose of associating data with individuals, which allows them to personalize their experience when entering an Internet site, but this information is not owned by the user. This has other implications since for each website where people create a profile, a series of data associated with their identity is generated again.

Consequently, it can be affirmed that people, as an initial concept, can have as many identities on the Internet as places where they are registered, and this situation must be valued, which on the one hand enhances the human personality, but on the other comes to present the Internet, if possible, as a slightly more chaotic or disorganized world, except for better criteria.

For this reason, it is pointed out that at the present time new lines of opinion are emerging, which fundamentally seek to provide legal certainty and predictability to the concept of digital identity, fundamentally for the sake of the use that it must have in the blockchain setup.

Thus, in this way, a series of initiatives have emerged that seek to respond to these problems, through a concept called self-sovereign digital identity. Alex Preukschat in his article Self Sovereign Identity: a guide to privacy for your digital identity with Blockchain, states that blockchain technology is the crucial advance that is now propelling digital identity into the era of “Self Sovereign” Identity. identifying through it five main existing problems about digital identity on the Internet, which are the following:

a). The problem of proximity: since the actors do not interact physically, but at a distance.

b). The problem of scale: digital identity depends on large centers of information and identity.

c). The flexibility problem: Many of today’s “digital identity solutions” are limited to fixed attribute sets or schemes.

d). The privacy problem: Current “digital identity solutions” are based on a collection of data, which is often collected without the user’s knowledge. and,

e). The consent problem: Data contained in thousands of identity databases is often shared with others without consent.

This situation must be linked to the fact, highlighted by García Moreno, that the most important problems in relation to the use of personal data today come from not knowing where these data are stored, who can access them, or what is being done with the information once it is accessed.

Although the new General Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on the protection of personal data (GDPR) begins to address these problems, there is still a need to provide a technological infrastructure that allows the reliable exchange of data, especially considering the circumstance Consisting that issues related to digital identity play a crucial role when Blockchain technology is effectively adopted massively by citizens, companies and Public Administrations.

García Moreno identifies, in turn, a set of very relevant problems derived from the management of personal identities and the way in which they are expected to be addressed through Blockchain technology, which is those indicated below:

a). The need to have agile online services, and also secure.

Bringing the characteristics of Blockchain technology to the field of digital identity, it is observed that these would have an important meaning in terms of having greater ownership and control over our data (as long as we maintain control over the cryptographic keys that they give us). access to them), which may be the key to maintaining the security of our identities.

Thus, Blockchain is expected to put traditional data structures to the test, returning control of personal data to consumers and, consequently, their confidence when accessing any type of online service.

Furthermore, as the way in which data is stored in a Blockchain can be configured to establish custom permissions, the new information exchange model could include, for example, ways of segmenting, so that they only access data of each type. who really needs them?

b). Access to public services

Another potential revolution derived from the use of Blockchain technology in the management of digital identity would lie in greater agility, security, and transparency in relations between citizens and Public Administrations, among which include: 

( i) access to services; 

(ii) administrative procedures; 

(iii) electoral processes; and, 

(iv) any other processes and services.

Even more so, taking into account that an important part of the world population lacks documentary identification.

In any case, Blockchain (by itself or in combination with other technologies, such as biometric systems) could help create that unique digital identity from which a wide range of administrative procedures (census, certificates, licenses, public tenders, etc.), and all kinds of services, such as education; medical care; electronic voting; housing, among many others.

c). The development of trade with our own personal data.

In this area, the most obvious possibility arises that it is the person himself who proceeds to sell his own personal data, thereby being able to obtain benefits. This possibility determines, for example, the possibility of certain companies, being those dedicated to trading with the personal data of citizens, avoided.

Today, it is expected that the implementation of Blockchain technology in future identity management systems will allow the secure exchange of user identity data.

The next step would be a distributed identity system where authority is not unique but distributed among a multitude of trusted actors.

The individual would not need to rely on a controller, issuer, or processor to comply with regulations to obtain, duplicate, move, send or secure their data. In this way, by decentralizing the process and giving control to the user, no institution could compromise the user’s identity data. This system would enable customers to use a digital “token” to verify their age when performing any type of operation.

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