Building the next frontier of digital trust using decentralised technologies

decentralised technology

The word ‘trust’ holds a multitude of meanings. A quick look at the dictionary would show that “trust” is abouthaving confidence in somebody’ or ‘believing that something is true’.

But in today’s thriving digital economy, where digitalisation has completely transformed our everyday lives, the meaning of ‘trust’ is evolving and in fact, under great scrutiny in the complex digital environment.

From credit card transactions to medical records and daily social media interactions, we are all constantly sharing a multitude of personal information digitally. This requires a high degree of trust from users who have no choice but to entrust digital platforms and services with key information about their lives most of the time.

However, the reality is that we don’t actually own these data. From the moment we register for a credit card, we are effectively letting a financial institution take hold of and control our information. This is a key concern especially as the cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving and security leaks have happened at a massive scale, often transcending the capabilities of organizations as well.

Recent high-profile cyber-attacks have only proven how attackers are becoming more sophisticated and stealthier in targeting the loopholes of robust security infrastructures.

Fostering digital trust

Against this backdrop, consumers and businesses alike are increasingly vulnerable to potential threats such as loss of confidentiality, unauthorised access, and inappropriate modification of crucial information. This is why digital trust must be forged and strengthened.

Digital trust serves as the beating heart of the digital economy, and a lack of it will eventually impede wider growth. In the race towards a digital-centric society, businesses and individuals would require greater assurance and confidence in using new technologies to unlock opportunities.

It is heartening to know that countries like Singapore are making more investments to advance the city-state’s digital trust capabilities within the next few years and strengthen its position as a trusted digital hub. In fostering digital trust, efforts must enable a simpler and more convenient method of managing data and personal information.

The growth of privacy-preserving decentralised technologies

Amid a changing digital and threat landscape, privacy-preserving, decentralised technologies will increasingly take on a bigger role in fostering digital trust for the next iteration of the internet. This is where Affinidi is making a difference.

We recognise the loopholes along with the challenges that individuals face today with regards to owning their information and digital identity and we want to empower everyone to be able to safely access financial, healthcare, and employment platforms, and enable new ways to share, control and store our personal data.

To this end, we are pushing for greater use of decentralised technologies, which would award individuals with the power to fully control their data.

With decentralised technology, individuals everywhere can gain ownership of their own digital identity, claim their credentials, and share data selectively in a privacy-preserving manner as they consume digital services from different providers. These would allow them to unlock new opportunities and the potential to enjoy life to the fullest.

This new decentralised architecture fosters greater transparency and accountability between all parties, enabling institutions, governments, and individuals to participate and contribute in ways that foster great trust. Let’s look at a few examples.

For businesses, decentralised technology makes the digital infrastructure and services more resilient to cyber threats, while minimizing the attack surface, scale, and potential impact in the event of a compromise. It could also help businesses reduce costs on data management and compliance resources, especially for small business owners.

For job seekers today, many have had to pivot to a fully digital hiring process amidst the ongoing pandemic. Gone are the days when job seekers had to prepare hard copies of their certificates for physical interviews.

Now, employers require candidates to digitally share their previous employment records, education qualifications and other information for pre-employment checks. Given that these credentials are highly personal and issued by various entities, candidates should demand a secure approach to ensure their data don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Verifiable credentials- tamper-proof credentials that can be verified cryptographically – help address this. Candidates can collate their credentials in their own digital wallets and only share them with relevant employers who require this information.

This decentralised approach ensures data is shared in a secure and privacy-preserving way while empowering the individual.

The benefits of Affinidi’s decentralised technology do not stop there. Amidst the pandemic, COVID-19 tests have become a necessity for travel, but the absence of a global standard for digital health credentials impedes the verification process.

There is also the issue of fake COVID-19 certificates, as some attempt to profit from travel restrictions through selling fake negative test results.

Also read: How the decentralised finance movement is gaining momentum in Asia

Through verifiable credentials, healthcare providers and other relevant bodies can issue digitally verifiable COVID-19 test and vaccine credentials to travellers in a secure and privacy-preserving way.

Airlines and immigration officers can then use Affinidi’s verification technology to accurately verify the credentials’ authenticity and match these against destination entry requirements.

Beyond these use cases, verifiable data and decentralisation will have far-reaching benefits across every sphere of our life. Scheduling health checks, applying for credit cards, computing insurance premiums, and selling/buying a property are just some areas in our daily lives where these new technologies can play a role in verifying information securely while safeguarding our digital identity.

Building an ecosystem to become a digital trust hub

While much has been said about the need for privacy protection and identity management, the truth is that decentralization is not common knowledge or widely adopted among the community and the business world yet. There is a need to foster stronger partnerships in advancing digital trust and decentralized technologies to build on what we have created and to sustain it.

To do so, concerted efforts are required from everyone involved such as regulatory authorities, users, and companies operating in the private and public space.

Singapore is doing well with championing privacy-preserving models and establishing solid trust networks, but globally, there must be a greater push for government and key stakeholders to embrace and integrate this change into their business processes to award data control back to individuals for the benefit of the world.

Though we often get lost in technologies, frameworks, legislation, and economic models, it is ultimately the human aspect of it all that will define the future of the digital identity industry.

Hence, while governments and institutions should drive research and introduce solutions that support digital trust principles, we also believe that there needs to be a strong mindset shift among the wider population.

Bearing this in mind can determine the heights we scale, and how quickly we get to establish a strong and globally trusted digital ecosystem that empowers the world.

Editor’s note: e27 aims to foster thought leadership by publishing views from the community. Share your opinion by submitting an article, video, podcast, or infographic

Join our e27 Telegram group, FB community, or like the e27 Facebook page

Image credit: videoflow

The post Building the next frontier of digital trust using decentralised technologies appeared first on e27.

,
decentralised technology

The word ‘trust’ holds a multitude of meanings. A quick look at the dictionary would show that “trust” is abouthaving confidence in somebody’ or ‘believing that something is true’.

But in today’s thriving digital economy, where digitalisation has completely transformed our everyday lives, the meaning of ‘trust’ is evolving and in fact, under great scrutiny in the complex digital environment.

From credit card transactions to medical records and daily social media interactions, we are all constantly sharing a multitude of personal information digitally. This requires a high degree of trust from users who have no choice but to entrust digital platforms and services with key information about their lives most of the time.

However, the reality is that we don’t actually own these data. From the moment we register for a credit card, we are effectively letting a financial institution take hold of and control our information. This is a key concern especially as the cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving and security leaks have happened at a massive scale, often transcending the capabilities of organizations as well.

Recent high-profile cyber-attacks have only proven how attackers are becoming more sophisticated and stealthier in targeting the loopholes of robust security infrastructures.

Fostering digital trust

Against this backdrop, consumers and businesses alike are increasingly vulnerable to potential threats such as loss of confidentiality, unauthorised access, and inappropriate modification of crucial information. This is why digital trust must be forged and strengthened.

Digital trust serves as the beating heart of the digital economy, and a lack of it will eventually impede wider growth. In the race towards a digital-centric society, businesses and individuals would require greater assurance and confidence in using new technologies to unlock opportunities.

It is heartening to know that countries like Singapore are making more investments to advance the city-state’s digital trust capabilities within the next few years and strengthen its position as a trusted digital hub. In fostering digital trust, efforts must enable a simpler and more convenient method of managing data and personal information.

The growth of privacy-preserving decentralised technologies

Amid a changing digital and threat landscape, privacy-preserving, decentralised technologies will increasingly take on a bigger role in fostering digital trust for the next iteration of the internet. This is where Affinidi is making a difference.

We recognise the loopholes along with the challenges that individuals face today with regards to owning their information and digital identity and we want to empower everyone to be able to safely access financial, healthcare, and employment platforms, and enable new ways to share, control and store our personal data.

To this end, we are pushing for greater use of decentralised technologies, which would award individuals with the power to fully control their data.

With decentralised technology, individuals everywhere can gain ownership of their own digital identity, claim their credentials, and share data selectively in a privacy-preserving manner as they consume digital services from different providers. These would allow them to unlock new opportunities and the potential to enjoy life to the fullest.

This new decentralised architecture fosters greater transparency and accountability between all parties, enabling institutions, governments, and individuals to participate and contribute in ways that foster great trust. Let’s look at a few examples.

For businesses, decentralised technology makes the digital infrastructure and services more resilient to cyber threats, while minimizing the attack surface, scale, and potential impact in the event of a compromise. It could also help businesses reduce costs on data management and compliance resources, especially for small business owners.

For job seekers today, many have had to pivot to a fully digital hiring process amidst the ongoing pandemic. Gone are the days when job seekers had to prepare hard copies of their certificates for physical interviews.

Now, employers require candidates to digitally share their previous employment records, education qualifications and other information for pre-employment checks. Given that these credentials are highly personal and issued by various entities, candidates should demand a secure approach to ensure their data don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Verifiable credentials- tamper-proof credentials that can be verified cryptographically – help address this. Candidates can collate their credentials in their own digital wallets and only share them with relevant employers who require this information.

This decentralised approach ensures data is shared in a secure and privacy-preserving way while empowering the individual.

The benefits of Affinidi’s decentralised technology do not stop there. Amidst the pandemic, COVID-19 tests have become a necessity for travel, but the absence of a global standard for digital health credentials impedes the verification process.

There is also the issue of fake COVID-19 certificates, as some attempt to profit from travel restrictions through selling fake negative test results.

Also read: How the decentralised finance movement is gaining momentum in Asia

Through verifiable credentials, healthcare providers and other relevant bodies can issue digitally verifiable COVID-19 test and vaccine credentials to travellers in a secure and privacy-preserving way.

Airlines and immigration officers can then use Affinidi’s verification technology to accurately verify the credentials’ authenticity and match these against destination entry requirements.

Beyond these use cases, verifiable data and decentralisation will have far-reaching benefits across every sphere of our life. Scheduling health checks, applying for credit cards, computing insurance premiums, and selling/buying a property are just some areas in our daily lives where these new technologies can play a role in verifying information securely while safeguarding our digital identity.

Building an ecosystem to become a digital trust hub

While much has been said about the need for privacy protection and identity management, the truth is that decentralization is not common knowledge or widely adopted among the community and the business world yet. There is a need to foster stronger partnerships in advancing digital trust and decentralized technologies to build on what we have created and to sustain it.

To do so, concerted efforts are required from everyone involved such as regulatory authorities, users, and companies operating in the private and public space.

Singapore is doing well with championing privacy-preserving models and establishing solid trust networks, but globally, there must be a greater push for government and key stakeholders to embrace and integrate this change into their business processes to award data control back to individuals for the benefit of the world.

Though we often get lost in technologies, frameworks, legislation, and economic models, it is ultimately the human aspect of it all that will define the future of the digital identity industry.

Hence, while governments and institutions should drive research and introduce solutions that support digital trust principles, we also believe that there needs to be a strong mindset shift among the wider population.

Bearing this in mind can determine the heights we scale, and how quickly we get to establish a strong and globally trusted digital ecosystem that empowers the world.

Editor’s note: e27 aims to foster thought leadership by publishing views from the community. Share your opinion by submitting an article, video, podcast, or infographic

Join our e27 Telegram group, FB community, or like the e27 Facebook page

Image credit: videoflow

The post Building the next frontier of digital trust using decentralised technologies appeared first on e27.

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