Everyone has an ID. However, with the advent of digital technology, ID is slowly making its way into the digital world. Today we can already have documents with an electronic chip and biometric elements. But the question is, how will our digital identity progress and where will it go? Let’s take a look at this.
Digital identity today
At the moment, you can imagine digital identity in internet or mobile banking, for example. If you use one of these applications, you have it. Recently, even security has been improving. Many banks require a fingerprint or other additional security to log in. However, it’s still a good idea to be wary of threats as well. Hackers are always trying to keep up and, as a result, creating new ways to bypass security features and take your money.
Security is already a challenge, but going forward it is quite possible that this is really the direction it will take. Digital transactions also need a digital identity to be carried out and here we are seeing a sharp increase. Not just because of the pandemic, but in general. Rather, people are ‘moving’ to the digital world to perform important tasks to save time and use it more efficiently. So with the increase of tasks in the digital world, digital identity itself will need to evolve and become more secure.
Digital identity in the future
Blockchain, behavioural biometrics and artificial intelligence could all come into play. Blockchain could help create tokenized digital identities. We already know from the nature of blockchain how secure it can be. Such a system will be more than just a fingerprint scanner. Under behavioural biometrics, think also of techniques such as keystroke dynamics, gait analysis, voice identification, mouse usage characteristics or signature analysis. From the overall picture alone, you can see that this is a much more complex security feature.
Challenges in the future
Digital identity can be also issued by a state organization or by banks. There are already such first attempts, called Bank identity (Bankovni identita) for example in the Czech republic or electronic ID card (eObcanka). These digital identity solutions are highly centralized and the person using them does not have any control over his or her data. The situation is much further advanced for example in China, where the credit system is closely related to China’s mass surveillance systems, which incorporates facial recognition, big data analysis, and artificial intelligence. The Social Credit System is an extension to the existing financial credit rating system in China.
As we saw, there is a clear trend towards digital ID systems, be it in a completely centralized form, or more decentralized form, for which blockchain would be of a great use. It is now up to us to educate ourselves, discuss and request a form that would be the most suitable for us with our service providers, governments and representatives.