From health records to online shopping, digital identities play an important role in various aspects of our lives. Having access to digital identities makes it easier to verify and authenticate an individual’s data during transactions.
However, this amount of information in different central databases and servers has led to problems such as data theft and fraud. These are problems that will likely continue in the future.
Fortunately, digital identities based on regulated blockchain have all the benefits and none of the problems that come with traditional digital identities. In this article, we’ll see how regulated blockchain can provide a platform for ideal digital identities.
Digital identities have many benefits, such as easier transactions, but are also lacking in many ways. Whether a digital identity is used for insurance records or making payments, the data is usually stored in centralized servers and databases.
This means there’s a single point of failure and the data is compromised if the database becomes compromised. This puts users’ data at risk.
Another issue is that entities in charge of centralized databases can mishandle data and some companies can misuse it for illegal purposes.
In 2014–2015, Cambridge Analytica had access to Facebook user data through the “This Is Your Digital Life” app that was connected to Facebook. This happened without the users’ knowledge or permission. As a result, up to 87 million Facebook users had their private information stolen and misused for political purposes.
Another issue with traditional digital identities is identity theft following the hacking of centralized databases. According to Forgerock, personally identifiable information is the most targeted data for breaches, accounting for 97% of all breaches in 2018. For instance, in 2017 hackers spent three months compromising the Equifax database, resulting in 143 million Americans, almost half of the population, having their data stolen.
So what’s the solution to these issues?
A regulated blockchain can eliminate all the privacy problems that currently plague the implementation and acceptance of digital identities. Blockchain-based identity systems provide a platform to issue, exchange and securely verify digital identities.
With such a system, an individual will have access to a decentralized identifier (DID), which is secured by a private key. A regulated blockchain’s consensus mechanism, such as L3COS, allows authorized agencies and government institutions to be the node of the blockchain network, which can then confirm the authenticity of an individual’s data.
For example, L3COS has three consensus levels, one for each of government, business and society. This allows the right organization or institution to authenticate an individual’s data in applications such as health or banking services.
Once an individual’s data is authenticated, they get a public key that is used for transactions. Businesses, organizations, and the government will only have access to an individual’s public key, rather than their private data, which will be protected by their private key and available only to them.
The good thing is that individuals can have a number of DIDs, depending on where they want to use them. For instance, a user can have one identifier to access their health services and another one for online gaming.
Once an individual’s data goes into a block, it’s impossible to tamper with it, as it’s replicated in the next block. This ensures data security for information stored on the blockchain.
Another feature of blockchain that makes tampering difficult is decentralization. All parties in a blockchain can observe the changes that are made. If hackers were to try to tamper with an individual’s digital identity, relevant parties such as the government, businesses and the individual would immediately detect such attempts.
Digital identities are already used in various aspects of people’s lives. As explained earlier, blockchain can improve digital identities for these applications.
Here are six case studies:
There are many more case studies on the uses of blockchain-based digital identities and how they can enhance an individual’s privacy and security.
Having a digital identity has made many transactions across a variety of aspects of our lives much easier. But with that ease comes a danger of having their personal data and finances compromised by unethical organizations selling it to the highest bidder or even perhaps to criminals.
Regulated blockchain-based digital identities provide a solution to this problem. Individuals can make transactions and access services without revealing their private information.
With features such as three consensus levels, smart contracts and more, L3COS can host digital identities that foster faster and more secure transactions for individuals and businesses.