Using Blockchain technology, for security
We have a lack of control over our personal identities. There are also concerns about more sensitive personal data that has become available over the deep web. For example, social security numbers, bank account information and health insurance details.
Using Blockchain technology, for security, is a way of ensuring that all of the data that is stored somewhere. This may not prevent our data from being shared, but it does ensure that our data cannot be modified without the system’s knowledge.
World-wide, there are consistent issues with identity theft and people who fall victim to identity fraud. More often than not, people are not aware that their identities have become compromised until they try to take out a loan or buy a home — in which case they may find out that their finances are in ruin.
Using blockchain helps to identify if there are changes in any data that uses the technology. In the case of sensitive personal information, this additional security measure can prevent the data from being modified or changed, and if attempted, the system would detect it almost immediately.
How They Get It?
We put companies and governments in the business of managing our identities. We lose the ability to secure how that data is being accessed or if it’s being changed. It seems like consumers these days prefer convenience over their privacy, meaning that people will give up their personal details to make certain transactions easier.
Fix the problem
The emergence of blockchain technology means that it’s remarkably difficult to modify any data, which empowers individuals to feel secure that information related to their identities won’t be tampered with.
With blockchain-based Decentralised Identifiers (DiDs), individuals can regain control of their data. Using a digital wallet app on a smartphone or desktop, users can also have the power to temporarily grant access to the DiDs of their choosing. The apps will show a QR code, for example, which they would scan, and the digital wallet app would automatically transfer the relevant DiDs over the blockchain and the app will grant access. These wallet apps will come with secure pins, that only the authorised owner knows, and must put in to grant anyone temporary access.
Of course, it’s possible to secure this type of data with a different system, but the added security of the blockchain means that the sensitive data is safer and any modifications would be detected much faster.
Who Else is Doing It?
So far the few projects using blockchain for identity data have proven to be successful. You’ll even find that this technology is being used by NATO and the US Department of Defence.
Some of the more notable projects to date are e-Estonia and the Illinois Blockchain Initiative.
e-Estonia is the first country to consider itself an “information society”. In the works for about 20 years, they have invested in becoming one of the world’s most developed digital societies. They have a digital system that allows their citizens to take care of their taxes, digital identification, voting, e-health and more, all using blockchain technology as one of the ways to further secure their data.
Illinois is the first US state to attempt becoming a ‘smart state’, meaning that they are using blockchain technology to secure the sensitive personal data of their citizens. As of August 2018, they launched their pilot for digital birth-record registration. This will include cryptographically signed data such as legal name, date of birth, sex or blood type.