Demystifying Digital Identity: What It Is, What It Isn’t And What It Can Be

by | Jan 10, 2022 | Software development

A seamless and secure digital journey in an omni-channel environment should be created to improve relations with customers and citizens, improving on what most other organizations can offer. At Jumio, we contend that businesses still asking only for a passport and utility bill are asking for the wrong information. They’re merely asking if a person is who they say they are versus who they really are. Companies need to know that the person interfacing with them online is who they purport to be at that very moment. The problem with this model, however, is that organizations rely disproportionately on the first two categories — what people know or what they have. These marketplaces don’t just have individual identity data — they have bundles that combine a passport, a selfie and a utility bill to make the job of a fraudster that much easier.

However, a good digital identity management program enables effective collaboration and breaks down barriers to share information and work safely together across company boundaries. Blockchain-enabled digital identity management systems could be used to eradicate current identity management issues such as inaccessibility, data insecurity, and fraudulent identities. A robust digital identity solution enables organizations and individuals to interact securely and easily, providing a good user experience while helping reduce time and costs.

What is a digital identity

We assume high levels of digital ID adoption and usage by 2030, based on current levels in the most successful existing digital ID programs. We consider both basic and advanced ID programs as well as country income levels in setting our assumptions. In this sense, our estimates are of potential value, not predictions or forecasts of the value that could be created by digital ID by 2030. This research seeks to analyze and quantify the potential economic benefits of digital ID for an illustrative set of countries and to derive broader directional estimates for additional countries in both emerging and mature economies. A country-by-country approach is essential, because each country or situation is unique, with different drivers of potential value. All companies in Bhutan will be given a digital identity called a legal entity identifier.

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With increasing digitalization in nearly all aspects of our lives, it makes sense to shift our legal identities to a digital ecosystem. The benefits are manifold, starting with the fact that the process of assigning a digital identity to an individual is generally a simple, secure, and quick process. The DID spec is a very simple and powerful tool for standardizing how we refer to any identity. For individuals, digital identity works via driver’s licenses, national IDs, boarding passes and the use of mobile device cameras to recognize faces and authenticate into an application. Reusable digital IDs offer an opportunity to standardize requirements, simplify information sharing and allow any organization, from national governments to small businesses, to work with a single identity.

What is a digital identity

W3C did-spec-registriesAnyone can submit a new DID Method to be recognized as a standard, mostly on first come first serve and at no cost. Each submission however has various rules outlined by the W3C that it needs to adhere to. These requirements however are pretty simple mostly denoting that it be real concept and that all part of the submission are human readable. But one did is under the DID Method “forbes” and the other under “medium.” Despite the fact that both have the same string, those strings are specific to the DID Method and thus each did is still unique. A key part of DIDs however is the first “D,” which stands for decentralized.

Digital Identity Definition

Yet many digital ID programs have achieved low coverage levels, with the percentage of the population included as low as single digits. Most enable only a small fraction of the nearly 100 uses we have identified for digital ID. Several existing programs with low adoption rates have been affected by limited functionality, poor user experience, and difficulties coordinating across stakeholders. Gov.UK Verify in the United Kingdom has experienced slower than expected adoption—currently less than 10 percent of the population—and has so far been limited to a relatively small set of government-related uses. Overall, most existing digital ID programs do not yet capture all potential value, and additional opportunity exists for greater value creation.

Most things you own or do, are directly connected to your digital identity which you “control” through your own physical biometrics and store in a digital wallet provided by your government. Even if you buy a cigarette from a stranger, the digital money will be transferred between your digital identity and the stranger’s digital identity with the cigarettes. Your car or should I say the car that you rent and insure for the next hour and 32 minutes? As we’re getting ready to get back to business, it is important to ensure proper digital identity management.

LoginRadius empowers businesses to deliver a delightful customer experience and win customer trust. Using the LoginRadius Identity Platform, companies can offer a streamlined login process while protecting customer accounts and complying with data privacy regulations. Consumers, businesses, and governments alike need an easier way to deal with ID verification. Reusable digital identities are the next stage in the evolution of authentication, providing a better customer experience and simplifying business compliance efforts as well as overall ID administration needs.

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Digital identity is not a thing of the future — its implementation and impact are already becoming widespread. It’s important for all companies and organizations to know exactly what it is and put better means of managing the data they hold into effect soon, before it’s too late. It’s not only about preventing fraud; it’s also about asserting who we are in this society.

What is a digital identity

DIDs are a concept more than a technology, they are a standard way of referring to an identity and have recommended architectures for verification, but not rule for how to verify other than it needing to be decentralized. This means that create a new DID Method, really a new namespace for a group of specific blockchain identity management IDs is as easy as having it be recognized by others. Leverage digital identity SaaS solutions to reduce the total cost of ownership, align to digital technologies and position the organization for a secure future. ‘Friction’ can be introduced and adjusted based on the current level of user risk.

The EU’s Electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services regulation is designed to facilitate the use of identities created in one jurisdiction to conduct business and sign legal documents in another. Launched in 2014, a proposed amendment to eIDAS in 2021 aims to boost its adoption. To provide at least 80% of the bloc’s 450 million citizens with digital identity solutions for accessing public services by 2030. Loopholes about digital identity are often used by people who seek to discredit a character or brand with malicious information posted on social media.

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GDPR , which is more closely linked to the concept of digital footprint and reputation that we have seen previously and which gives users greater control over the data they have provided to companies over the Internet. In addition, systems using artificial intelligence and machine learning are used to make decisions based on our identities. Those systems are often built on data that can reinforce bias and discrimination, and are wielded without sufficient transparency or human review. Ultimately, social credit systems, such as those that are currently being developed in China, will be based on digital ID, thereby enabling or disabling our full and free participation in society.

  • Several existing programs with low adoption rates have been affected by limited functionality, poor user experience, and difficulties coordinating across stakeholders.
  • Biometric databases are being set up in such a way that these individual identifiers are centralized, insecure, and opaque.
  • The attributes of a digital identity are acquired and contain information about a subject, such as medical history, purchasing behaviour, bank balance, age and so on.
  • Clare Sullivan presents the grounds for digital identity as an emerging legal concept.
  • If your store your healthcare data in an NFT’s metadata, a professional could verify your current health status without seeing other confidential information.
  • The actual charges are authorized after leaving the hotel and returning the car, which may be too late for the balloon trip.

Other examples include physical devices with similar secrets inside, such as smart cards and security dongles. Digital identity management is a key issue that will ensure not only service and functionality expectations but also security and privacy. With a new username and password for nearly every site or application you use, it is easy to build a huge list of identities. Indeed, the average person has more than 100 passwords , and business employees have nearly 200. End-to-end platforms such as Tecalis, offer companies and users secure onboarding processes to tackle decisive use cases in the digital economy such as those detailed above.


These are difficult users to identify because they usually use one or more fake profiles to try to create a reputation crisis for a company or sometimes only in order to make a company uncomfortable. There are several practical uses for digital identity today, specifically in government and the public sector. Several federal and state agencies have already created plans or pilot programs for implementing digital identification in a variety of use cases.

Digital identity in social networks

Make sure you have a strong and unique password for each online account you have — be it an email account, your social media profiles, or anything else. Similarly, in many cases — especially those involving social media or dating apps — a person’s projected digital identity may not represent their real identity at all. This sets up a complex structure of puzzle pieces that define who we are as our digital selves. What is more, is that our online identities and our digital selves aren’t an add on anymore, they are a key part of who we are. Having a social media account get stolen, or even someone impersonating you online can have widespread and devastating repercussions. It can lead to the loss of careers, health issues, and most commonly mental health issues.

Techopedia Explains Digital Identity

For example, if an employee’s home remote access may have been compromised, a good identity access system automatically requires re-verification. In relation to a corporation’s reputation, including executive identity and brand identity of the corporation. The chapter defines these two identities and how they differ, explores why they are important in the digital space, and describes how they can be tarnished or lost because of digital activity.

The goal will be to block access to personal data, but also to prevent identity theft. Digital identity is the internet equivalent of the true identity of a person or entity when used for identification in connections or transactions of computers, mobile phones, or other personal devices. It brings together both offline information data of the user, such as their name, physical address, etc., as well as the image they project with their online activity. A person’s digital identity is an amalgamation of any and all attributes and information available online that can bind a persona to a physical person.

In the case of Aadhaar, a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of India recognized the need for a robust data protection framework. Identity 2.0 does not necessarily have to correspond to the real identity of an individual or corporation, but it does affect its reputation and the image that other users build on it. As our digital identities continue to become the foundation of our finances and digital resources, it’s important that we practice safe online habits to help protect our information from landing in the wrong hands. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools and habits we can implement to help make the internet a safer place. In many ways, a digital identity can help improve your life by allowing you to enjoy the convenience and benefits of a connected world. When you save your location and payment information online, for instance, you’re able to seamlessly shop online and get things delivered to your home with minimal effort.

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