News Flash: Digital Identity to be Widely Distributed

New report foresees networks of ID schemes rather than one identity to rule them all

By 2025, one fifth of digital identities will be built using distributed ledger or blockchain technology, up from 5% in 2020, according to a new report by Goode Intelligence. That growth will be fuelled in part by demand for self-sovereign identity, the report predicts.

“Looking at the development of digital identity across the globe for verified and citizen and consumer ID, there will not be one identity to rule them all. Rather there will be networks of identity schemes, some connected, others not,” said Alan Goode, CEO of Goode Intelligence and author of the report. “There will also be collaboration between mutually interested parties, such as banks, governments and telecommunications providers.”

He predicted growing adoption of bank- and telecoms-led, but state-backed, commercial identity schemes. In the short-to-medium term, these schemes will mainly operate in single states or economic unions, Goode added, pointing to the BankID schemes in the Nordics as an example. “Longer-term, a combination of regulatory support and adoption of identity technology standards will enable these schemes to break out of their silos to support greater levels of interoperability,” he added. “This is dependent on the economic and political will of both commercial organisations and the state.”

Separately, the President-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, described the protection of a person’s digital identity as an “overriding priority” in a speech to the European Parliament, marking the presentation of her College of Commissioners and its programme. “With the General Data Protection Regulation, we [the EU} set the pattern for the world,” she noted. “We have to do the same with artificial intelligence. Because in Europe we start with the human being. It is not about damming up the flow of data. It is about making rules that define how to handle data responsibly.”

For more information, see the Goode Intelligence press release and the Ursula von der Leyen speech