Fintech firms, software makers, telecom providers and other businesses have joined forces develop a blockchain-based network that will enable anyone to exchange digital credentials online and without the risk of unintentionally exposing any private data.
The companies are part of the Sovrin Foundation, a new nonprofit organization now developing the Sovrin Network, which could enable anyone to globally exchange pre-verified data with any entity also on the network.
Instead of a physical card, however, the IDs in our digital wallets would be encrypted and link back to the institutions that created them, such as a bank, a government or even an employer, which, through the blockchain, would automatically verify that information to a requestor.
"They control who has access to their wallet and also can revoke that access at any time," said Adam Gunther, IBM's director of trusted identity.
In addition to IBM, Sovrin Founders include 22 businesses from a wide range of industries, such as ATB Financial, SICPA, a maker of security inks used in paper money, and T-Labs, the research and innovation unit of Deutsche Telekom.
In a digital economy, where consumers and businesses buy merchandise, apply for mortgages and loans, and send identify verification information for a myriad of purposes, ensuring data privacy has become paramount, particularly after many high-profile data breaches.