DIGITAL IDENTITY – A CYBERCRIME SOLUTION?
It’s sad to say, but our technology-based world is also a haven for cybercrime. Data breaches, data loss, and identify theft are prevalent in our lives – at work and home. In 2020, 75% of large companies in the UK reported a data breach in the last 12 months. According to the UK Cyber Security Breaches Survey, 68% of medium-sized business were victims of some form of hacking. As the pool of personal information on the Web grows daily, so do the number of identity fraud cases.
THE DOWNSIDE OF PHYSICAL IDs
If you are lucky enough, you may be asked to prove your age when you buy alcohol. By buying the drink, you are giving the seller more information than they need. Instead of only providing a date of birth and an accompanying photo, you’re exposing your address, signature, and nationality. It really would be so much quicker to show a digital ID when applying for a loan, renting a car, or buying alcohol. Why don’t we do it?
The answer is trust. Nobody wants to hand over a potential timebomb of personal data if they don’t trust how it will be used and by whom. The UK government understands this reticence and in February this year launched a framework outlining the future governance of digital identities. For people to globally adopt digital identity, they need to know that their data is safe and secure and won’t become intrinsic to a haven for cybercrime.
DIGITAL IDENTITY OF THE FUTURE
Digital identities cannot take the form of an app that provides access to your entire personal data portfolio. IDs like that would mean that every piece of personal information about you is shareable and stealable at the touch of a button. With privacy at the core, digital IDs need to be selective. You only give the vendor or supplier the information they need. Nothing more and nothing less.
A TESTED SOLUTION?
It’s still early days for digital identification but people are giving it a go. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Mastercard recently partnered with Deakin University and Australia Post to test out a digital ID solution enabling students to register for their exams digitally. This negated the need for physical documents, journeys to campus, and also reduced the amount of data shared about each student.
NOTHING MORE AND NOTHING LESS
Imagine now the same happening in our daily lives. This could be shopping online, opening a bank account, identifying yourself in the workplace, or proving your age. You only show your ID documents the first time you need to prove your identity – to verify that you are who you say you are. After that, your digital identity only reveals what needs to be revealed at that time. Nothing more and nothing less. And the rest of your personal data remains safe and secure.