Digital Identity On the Threshold of a Digital Identity Revolution

On the threshold of a digital
identity revolution
Identity today is fractious
For individuals, legal entities and devices alike, a verifiable
and trusted identity is necessary to interact and transact
with others.
The concept of identity isn’t new – for much of human
history, we have used evolving credentials, from beads
and wax seals to passports, ID cards and birth certificates,
to prove who we are. The issues associated with identity
proofing – fraud, stolen credentials and social exclusion
– have challenged individuals throughout history. But, as
the spheres in which we live and transact have grown, first
geographically and now into the digital economy, the ways
in which humans, devices and other entities interact are
quickly evolving – and how we manage identity will have to
change accordingly.
As we move into the Fourth Industrial Revolution and more
transactions are conducted digitally, a digital representation
of one’s identity has become increasingly important; this
applies to humans, devices, legal entities and beyond.
For humans, this proof of identity is a fundamental
prerequisite to access critical services and participate in
modern economic, social and political systems. For devices,
their digital identity is critical in conducting transactions,
especially as the devices will be able to transact relatively
independent of humans in the near future.
For legal entities, the current state of identity management
consists of inefficient manual processes that could benefit
from new technologies and architecture to support digital
growth. As the number of digital services, transactions and
entities grows, it will be increasingly important to ensure
the transactions take place in a secure and trusted network
where each entity can be identified and authenticated.
Identity is the first step of every transaction between two
or more parties. Over the ages, the majority of transactions
between two identities has been mostly viewed in relation to
the validation of a credential (“Is this genuine information?”),
verification (“Does the information match the identity?”) and
authentication of an identity (“Does this human/thing match
the identity? Are you really who you claim to be?”). These
questions have not changed over time, only the methods
have change.
This paper explores the challenges with current identity
systems and the trends that will have significant impact on
identity in the future.

Fuente: weforum

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