How will we identify in the future?

With the growing digitalization of our daily lives and the evolution of Metavers, we need to make sure that our identity will be secure.

Lincoln Ando

In the “real world”, many of us already have an identity. We are a person with a name, an identity card, maybe a driver’s license or a bank account – the number of Brazilians with a bank account reached 182.2 million in December 2021. But when we go online, our identity becomes more flexible . You can create different emails on your behalf, for example, without bureaucracy. But such freedom comes at a cost – it’s hard to digitally prove an identity, and many of the current approaches (email + password + SMS PIN code) only add complexity to the user, without really solving the biggest problem – which Can these identities be trusted?

And this is another point: trust is essential in our daily activities. Online, trust becomes even more important because it is much easier to create false identities and much more difficult to know who to trust.

First of all, it is necessary to recognize that the current identity paradigm is flawed. Just because it worked for us for decades doesn’t mean it will work indefinitely. Brazilian citizens receive many different documents – and each state issues its own identification document. In this way, a single person can have different identity documents in different locations, as these data do not speak.

CNH and CPF, for example, despite the fact that they are documents with identification numbers, are not intended for the civil identification of persons, they only guarantee that people will have access to benefits or perform certain functions, such as leadership. Also, since databases are not unified, it is more difficult and time consuming to cross-check data to confirm that the person is what they claim to be whenever they need to access a service, such as opening a bank account or renting one. .car. This complex and decentralized scenario creates many problems for governments and citizens.

In this sense, our daily lives have become more and more online and it is necessary for technologies to keep up with these changes. And that technology must be built on the principle that once trust is established in an identity, that identity must be reusable – allowing the transfer of trust between companies and accumulated over time.

Adopting this approach benefits everyone. Consumer frustration is low – they can carry their identity with them in digital ecosystems, rather than start from scratch with each new transaction. Companies also enjoy these benefits, as well as many more – a reusable approach to identity allows them to confidently speed up their processes – driven by a faster process of integrating and sharing information when it comes to fighting fraud. .

Nor are these benefits in isolation – they also help build trust between the customer and the company. And making that trust transferable means that trust building doesn’t start from scratch every time – stimulating growth, improving customer satisfaction and creating a more inclusive digital economy for everyone. Moreover, digital identity is part of a global trend related to the creation of a truly digital society – the main one being case

the Aadhaar project, an Indian national digital identity implemented in India in 2010.

The advancement of technology is increasingly connected to the urban and global environment, bringing consistency, security and innovation in the relationship between communities, public authorities and each individual. In addition, a digital society opens up new avenues for improving and creating new products and services, making your customer’s life more efficient every day.

Therefore, digital identity is a fundamental part of how individuals connect every area of ​​their lives, creating unique opportunities for creativity and disruption. Governments and digital identities:

Like smartphones, wifi or cloud computing, digital identity is following the same growth path towards mass adoption. In five years, many of us will use digital channels to verify our identity every day. And the technological tools needed to catalyze the future of this industry are now available. Estonia, the poster for the mass adoption of digital identification, has been using this system for decades.

In this respect, access to government services will probably be essential in this construction. In 2020, Australia announced that digital identity will be at the heart of its $ 800 million technology budget package. The aim is to help simplify and reduce the cost of interacting with public services.

Setting standards for identity also helps to overcome the risk of market fragmentation as digital identities become more widespread in society. With centralized standards, the government can establish an interoperability requirement, while still allowing companies to differentiate competitively in the quality of services provided.

In Estonia, although it is a much smaller country with a strong digitization strategy, they have a physical identity card, a SIM card and an application, all related to a single digital identity that has been powered by the blockchain for several years. which are widely experienced throughout society.

According to Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the country’s president between 2006 and 2016, the digitalisation of public services has reduced bureaucracy and made citizens happier. But not only. The economic impact was significant. He claims that the country has managed to save 2% of GDP due to digitalization.

This is also leading to further developments in data regulation. The main goal is to increase people’s confidence in how their data will be used and to encourage better sharing of that data. This form of digital identification is at the heart of privacy by designing and empowering citizens.

In the same vein, with the changes related to Open Banking and LGPD, on the other hand, in a few years, companies and governments may no longer have control over digital identities; power, on the other hand, will have changed to belong to the individuals themselves. And these people will be able to define, manage, share and withdraw certain parts of their identity with organizations, taking into account their needs. And what is digital identity like in Metavers?

Facebook’s bet on the “metaverse” to change its name in Meta last year aroused the interest of people and companies to prepare for the new virtual universe proposed by Mark Zuckerberg. And in this sense, like all technological innovations, we are concerned about the digital security of users. What dangers does this universe bring, and how can you protect yourself in this new environment?

Involving a wide range of technologies, including augmented reality, blockchain, 5G and artificial intelligence, the concept of metavers is expanding almost daily. As more and more new people live in these virtual worlds, verifying the identity of virtual alter egos will become essential.

In this sense, the flow of data takes on a much larger dimension. Therefore, it is essential to understand how the tools available can help users protect themselves when using their digital identities and increase trust in the platform.

Without an identity solution tailored to the requirements of the next generation of metaverse, it will be impossible to guarantee that avatars are really who they say they are. For large companies, celebrities and entrepreneurs, imitations can be very damaging to their brands and open the door for scammers.

So as the powerful possibilities of the virtual world continue to grow, it is clear that a tangible connection to the real world will be vital to security. In order for the metaverse to reach its full potential without threatening the security and control of its users, it must be built with digital identity in mind.

Lincoln Ando, ​​CEO and founder of idwall

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