The digital era has brought with it great things, but unfortunately it has also brought unwanted attention from identity fraud which is a growing problem as more and more people use online facilities to live their daily life.
This is until now, when Microsoft believe that they might have found a solution to this, and that this could be blockchain and other DLT’s. They have been exploring different ways in which they can make digital technology more secure. They have worked closely with the Decentralise Identity Foundation, and have announced that they will be trying different identifier formats through the Microsoft Authenticator app.
The blockchain systems that are for identity management have been designed to protect and validate digital information, through a decentralised community of online users. Microsoft believe that these technologies could protect people against fraud and theft, as well as overcoming the ‘identity gap’.
Ankur Patel, who is a principal program manager for Microsoft’s Identity Division wrote;
“As many of you experience every day, the world is undergoing global digital transformation where digital and physical reality are blurring into a single integrated modern way of living…This new world needs a new model for digital identity, one that enhances individual privacy and security across the physical and digital world.”
15.4 million people in the US were victims of identity fraud in 2017, which equated to $16billion in losses. As well as this, there are approximately 1.1 billion people in the world who have no recognisable forms of identification, which leaves them much more vulnerable.
Patel truly believes that distributed ledger technologies could help this on a global scale, saying;
“Rather than grant broad consent to countless apps and services, and have their identity data spread across numerous providers, individuals need a secure encrypted digital hub where they can store their identity data and easily control access to it.”
Blockchain technology would mean that decentralised ID’s would not be controlled by outside companies or organisations, and instead they could be self-owned.