Identidad Digital
Miguel Ángel Acero Álvarez Responsible for Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0

Digital Identity, acceleration engine in the adoption of Blockchain

Public institutions and companies often use credentials (such as passports, social security cards, and employee cards) to identify people. Individuals can choose where to store their physical credentials and can sometimes decide with whom they share this data.

This mode of use inspired a new type of digital credential called 'verifiable credential'. As the ones we use physically, people can store their verifiable credentials in a wallet (digital wallet) on their smartphone, on another digital device or in the cloud, and can use them for identification, authentication and authorization, through presentation of these verifiable credentials to third parties.

With this, it is possible to build a de facto shared and interoperable system on which different entities can integrate and work. At the end of the day, the use of credentials on a distributed, accessible and shared registry, which provides a reliable system for the exchange of verified information, always with the prior authorization of the owner of the same.

This set of credentials can configure a decentralized model of Self Sovereign Identity. This personal identity can be the sum of the attributes inherent to the individual (height, age, date of birth, fingerprints, etc.), attributes accumulated over time (medical records, preferences, training certificates, etc.) and designated attributes (phone number, email or DNI number).

In a digital environment where an average Internet user is estimated to have around 70 online identities that store personal information in centralized databases, Self-Sovereign Digital Identity (SSI) enables people to unify and control their data and communications in a way that preserves privacy, without requiring permission or supervision from any other party. Each person has a verified master copy of their own data and is in charge of it. He is the one who self-manages it, who decides who can see his data and what part of it. Verifiable credentials and standardized digital wallets offer a convenient, secure and privacy-oriented alternative for both physical means of identification and centralized digitization of identity platforms.

SSI provides us with disruptive functionalities when building new models of interaction with users and between entities, where the use and management of sensitive data is no longer a problem, it is part of the solution. It applies, for example, to electronic commerce registration where the purchase process in an electronic commerce portal could be completed by a user who has not registered on the website through their wallet. In this way, in the future we could stop using centralized authentication services such as Google or Facebook by using our verifiable credentials to validate our identity in the online world. In customer identification processes (KYC) and the prevention of money laundering (AML), the use of our digital identity configured through credentials from different areas speeds up and simplifies these validation processes.

In addition, in the health field with the management of our medical history and access to our data (vaccination card, blood group, COVID certificate, etc.), allowing us to choose at any time who we want to give access to and what data.

In this health field, from Izertis we have deployed the green card in Cape Verde, a Digital Identity project that collects clinical data from the country's inhabitants and visitors, unifying the documents for all administrations in a single system. It is a fundamental platform to help create a safe and interconnected ecosystem that allows the government, companies and individuals to return to post-covid tourism activity in a smarter and safer way.

Another area where progress is being made in the deployment of verifiable certification initiatives is education, in which Izertis is in the deployment phase of a standardized digital solution that takes advantage of blockchain technology for the issuance and verification of certificates and data associated with the students of the CXC in Barbados that collects all the academic degrees of users in a wallet. A solution in which we have built on the existing work in LACChain, Alastria, EBSI and ESSIF, to guarantee interoperability and compliance with the different international standards.

For example, as these SSI is a new paradigm to exchange authentic and reliable data related not only of people, but also of companies, devices or assets in a secure way and preserving privacy.

From Izertis we contribute our knowledge in this area with the launch of a Self-Managed Digital Identity service (IDaaS) and we provide a trusted system for the use of this service and its integration. It is a tool that makes it easier for service providers to verify information sent to users by third parties with full guarantee, achieving a reduction in costs and an increase in the efficiency of digital platforms, as well as an increase in the security and resilience of the systems.

Under this idea we have designed the SCUDO solution that provides a solution that facilitates the interrelation between the information systems of the health entities of the different autonomous communities and also with other countries. It allows to register the information regarding the users in a blockchain system that other entities can access with the prior authorization of the corresponding user and, in this way, verifying that the information it is showing has been issued by a trusted health authority.

Additionally, the extension of the use of SSI adds value by promoting inclusion, formalization and digitization, especially in developing countries where there are currently significant percentages of the population that do not have credentials for their identity, which limits by for instance, their access to financial services.

For the success of decentralized digital identity, projects need to gain more traction and establish interoperability through a common governance framework. In addition, government support is necessary to enable the use of verifiable credentials through wallets, as for example, they are already producing in countries such as Canada, Estonia or Germany, but also at the level of the European Union that is promoting a digital identity open to member countries, in line with the new European digital identity, which allows us to share only the information that is necessary at all times.