When it comes to identifiable personal information, technology is pointing to Digital Identities as the future defining platform of the management and issuance of personal information. Principally, governments and social services that ties in with education, healthcare and other government services must utilize a decentralized information platform as the basis of digital identities.
With all the governments and sovereignty across the world, there can be no single or unified digital identity system without the support of technology movers.
Now, two industry giants in Mastercard and Microsoft are proposing to fully-utilize their vast resources in order to develop a universal digital identity platform that will bridge and cross boundaries when it comes to personal information. The digital identity plan states an ambitious “universally-recognized digital identity” for every person across the globe.
Going Beyond Personal Information
Under the digital plan proposed by Mastercard and Microsoft, the digital identity will become a person’s passport to their digital lifestyle whereas it could be use to create and manage emails, watch videos, subscribe to music and play online games alongside ride sharing applications. Going beyond personal information as a turnkey passport, the digital plan also wants to use the stored personal information in the digital identities to file taxes, apply for passports, enroll in credit services as well as being able to shop online.
What is described as a ““single, reusable digital identity”, the personal information stored can also expand to other future services that require personal information in order to register.
Are We Headed for Fragmentation Again?
The concept of digital identities is nothing new as platforms such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google allow their users to use their registered accounts in order to sign up with other partners. With the many providers that all store and hold personal information as digital identities, an average person’s digital identity is littered across the internet.
Despite the expertise of Mastercard when it comes to credit and commerce that ties-in with Microsoft’s identity technology, the digital plan set by these two giants could just head into more fragmentation as we expect other companies to form an alliance that utilizes digital identity technology.
In today’s fragmented and siloed digital identities, governments must be the ones to make the first step in creating a digital identity platform for a citizen’s personal information. Records such as taxation, healthcare services, social services, education and other registries need to be consolidated in a decentralized structure of a Blockchain technology to ensure proper administration of a person’s information. This will enable easier and more scalable audits on information recalls and information updates to be efficiently executed and reflect across all decentralized copies.
While the potential of a single and unified digital identity system as a passport to the digital lifestyle is appealing, the providers of digital identities must first address the civil information challenges.