Identity management is among the several uses –cases the blockchain industry feels extremely pride about. The use of blockchain for identity management emerges from the technology’s decentralization (no central authority) and robust security (advanced security) features. Self-sovereign identity takes the idea of identity management a step further, allowing individuals more control over the identity –related data.
The precarious case of identity security
Numerous cases of high-profile data breaches around the globe tell us that our data isn’t secure. No matter how sophisticated security technology is put in place. Identity theft, phishing, impostors, and cyber-crimes are rampant in the world. Our identity isn’t safe, which makes us even more vulnerable to cyber-crimes.
What makes matters worse is – our personal data. Everything from birth certificate to driver’s license to our bank account details is available from a third party, which we have no control. Traditionally, all individual records related to education, healthcare, public policy are recorded and maintained by a third –party, which is also a reason for frequent security failures. In most parts of the world, the central authority body is common.
Now that we’re talking about social media, it’s important to notice that our information is distributed across the web. Your address of birth, date of birth, our residential rent, mobile bills. This data is dispersed across online on a private server. This data is managed by third-parties. And individuals have no control over it.
Self – Sovereign identity, meaning individuals and businesses can take ownership of their individual identifying information and control it digitally can be highly transformative.
What is self –sovereign Identity?
Currently, there’s no consensus on the exact definition of self-sovereign identity. However, SSI (Self-sovereign identity) is widely accepted as a concept of individuals and organizations having sole ownership and greater control over their analog and digital identities.
Whether it’s a business license or university degree, every entity, person, or organization will have unique sets of identifying information. These credentials can be presented as and when the entity is required to prove their identity.
Under the SSI model, people and organizations that have more than one identifier can provide validation of their credentials without relying on a central authority.
The need for SSI model
Using SSI for identity control management will allow individuals and organizations greater control over their use of identity, solving the issue of data control and data privacy. The chances of stealing identity information will be reduced significantly as individuals will not have to share their information with thousands of databases, as they are most likely to do in the absence of SSI.
The benefits of the application of the SSI model goes much farther than this. For instance, in case you lose your passport, you are required to inform a third-party. With SSI in place, this would not be required. Similarly, it will remedy the parts of the world where people lack identity, particularly, in areas where birth certificates aren’t available or births were never registered, in which case they don’t have a passport nor they can get one.
Ideally, for SSI to work, all-analog documents will be converted into digital credentials. Birth certificates, business licenses, and university diplomas will be converted into single, digital documents stored by the individual or organization themselves. All digital information will be held in a single, secure ‘digital wallet’.
For example, typically, students receive a paper degree or diploma after graduation. With SSI, students would get digital credentials directly into their wallets. These credentials would be digitally signed by the university to prove that are they are official. When it is required to validate the credential, academic institutions would not have to search through their pile of paper copies.
Become a part of the data security revolution
Blockchain is a promising technology. With its existence, several novel cases like self-sovereign identity are emerging. You can be a part of this revolution and ride on the popularity of the technology by taking a blockchain professional certification, training, or course. As the technology is new and still maturing, these programs will provide you the in-depth knowledge of the technology and its business applications. Not to mention, it will pave way for career growth by equipping you with a comprehensive understanding of the technology.