How will we identify ourselves in the future?

With the increasing digitalization of our daily lives and the development of the Metaverse, we need to ensure the security of our identity.

Lincoln Ando

In the “real world” many of us already have a personality. We are a person with a name, ID, perhaps also a driver’s license or a bank account – the number of Brazilians with a bank account reached 182.2 million in December 2021. But when we go online, our personality becomes more flexible. For example, you can create various emails in your name without much bureaucracy. But there is a price to pay for such freedom – digitally verifying identity is difficult, and many of the current approaches (email + password + SMS pin) only make the user experience more difficult without actually solving the biggest problem – which one identifiers can be trusted?

And this is another point: trust is essential in our daily activities. On the Internet, trust becomes even more important because it’s much easier to create a fake identity and much harder to figure out who to trust.

First, it must be recognized that the current paradigm of identity is wrong. Just because it has worked for us for decades doesn’t mean it will last forever. Brazilian citizens receive many different documents, and each state issues its own identity document. So the same person can have different ID documents in different places as these details don’t talk.

CNH and CPF, for example, although they are identification numbered documents, are not intended to identify people civilly, they only guarantee that people will have access to benefits or perform certain functions, such as driving. Also, because databases are not unified, it is more difficult and time consuming to collate data to confirm that a person is who they say they are whenever they need to access a service such as opening a bank account or renting an account. , the car. This complex and decentralized scenario creates many challenges for governments and citizens.

In this sense, our daily lives are becoming more and more online, and technology needs to keep up with these changes. And this technology should be built on the principle that once trust is established in an identity, that identity should be reusable, allowing trust to be transferred between companies and accumulated over time.

Adopting this approach benefits everyone. Consumer frustration is reduced – they can retain their identity in digital ecosystems rather than starting from scratch with every new transaction. Companies are also enjoying these benefits, and many more—a reusable identity approach allows them to confidently accelerate their processes—through a faster onboarding and information sharing process when it comes to combating fraud.

And these benefits don’t exist in isolation either — they also help build trust between the customer and the company. And by making that trust transferable, it means building trust doesn’t start from scratch every time—it drives growth, improves customer satisfaction, and creates a more inclusive digital economy for everyone. In addition, digital identity is part of a global trend associated with the creation of a truly digital society, the main of which is case

Aadhaar project, Indian national digital identity implemented in India in 2010.

The development of technology is increasingly connected to the urban and global environment, bringing coherence, security and innovation to relationships between communities, governments and every individual. In addition, the digital society opens up new ways to improve and create new products and services, making your customers’ lives more efficient every day.

Thus, digital identity is a fundamental part of how people connect all areas of their lives, creating unique opportunities for creativity and breakthrough. Governments and digital identity:

Like smartphones, Wi-Fi or cloud computing, digital identity is on the same growth trajectory towards mainstream adoption. Five years from now, many of us will be using digital channels to verify our identity on a daily basis. And the technological tools needed to develop this industry are already available. Estonia, which has become a model for the mass adoption of digital identity, has been using this system for several decades.

In this sense, access to public services is likely to be important in this construction. Australia announced in 2020 that digital identity will be the main focus of its $800 million technology budget. The goal is to help simplify and reduce the cost of interaction with public services.

Setting identity standards also helps overcome the risk of market fragmentation as digital identity becomes more common in society. By using centralized standards, the government can set interoperability requirements while still allowing companies to offer competitive service quality solutions.

In Estonia, although it is a much smaller country with a strong digitization strategy, they have a physical ID, a SIM card, and an app, all linked to a single digital identity that has been running on blockchain for several years, benefits that are widely shared in society.

According to Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of the country from 2006 to 2016, the digitalization of public services has reduced bureaucracy and made citizens happier. But not only. The economic impact was significant. He claims that the country managed to save 2% of GDP thanks to digitization.

It also leads to broader changes in terms of data regulation. The main goal is to increase people’s level of confidence in how their data will be used and to encourage greater sharing of this data. At the core of this form of digital identity is privacy and citizen empowerment.

On the other hand, in this sense, with changes related to Open Banking and LGPD, within a few years, companies and governments may no longer have power over digital identities; instead, power will be held by the people themselves. And these people will be able to define, manage, share and withdraw certain parts of their identity with organizations tailored to their needs. And how does digital identification work in the Metaverse?

Facebook’s bet on the “Metaverse,” which changed its name to “Meta” last year, has sparked the interest of people and companies in preparing for Mark Zuckerberg’s new virtual universe. And in this sense, like all technological innovations, we are concerned about the digital security of users. What dangers is fraught with this universe and how to protect yourself in this new environment?

Incorporating a wide range of technologies including augmented reality, blockchain, 5G, and artificial intelligence, the metaverse concept is expanding almost daily. As more and more new people inhabit these virtual worlds, identity verification of virtual alter egos will become essential.

In this sense, data leakage becomes much more widespread. That’s why it’s important to understand how the tools available can help users protect themselves when using their digital identities and build trust within the platform.

Without an identity solution tailored to the requirements of the next generation metaverse, there is no guarantee that avatars are truly who they say they are. For large companies, celebrities, and entrepreneurs, copycats can cause serious damage to their brands and open the door to scammers.

As the powerful possibilities of the virtual world continue to unfold, it is becoming clear that a real connection to the real world will be vital to security. For the metaverse to realize its vast potential without compromising the security and control of its users, it must be built with digital identity in mind.

Lincoln Ando, ​​CEO and founder of idwall

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