Protecting Privacy & Digital Identities August 3th, 2021
While it seems as though the world has been stuck at home for almost a year now, the world is still conducting business as ‘somewhat usual’, whether that be virtual if the opportunity is welcomed, or on-site, safely and securely, in order to keep operations efficiently flowing. All of that being considered, it’s no secret that COVID-19 has definitely changed the very fabric of our world and how we live our daily lives. International tourism rates significantly dropped due to lockdowns and borders shutting down, and online shopping percentages skyrocketed thanks to boutiques and shops being closed to the public to protect their employees and counterparts. With all of that online activity taking place, a level of trust is required in order to ensure that one’s digital identity is protected.
The idea of one’s digital identity is based around the concept of a mutually trusted relationship between parties through which each person has a basic understanding of who the person is. When e-commerce transactions are conducted online for either retail, healthcare, travel, education, or entertainment purposes, that level of trust is formulated with the vendor, the holder, and the verifier. In order to accurately process a transaction, one would need to utilize verifiable credentials within their own digital wallets to ensure that individuals are able to securely store, control, and share their most valuable information in a wallet located on their mobile device.
This type of information includes passwords, proof of educational completion, membership cards, government standings, and healthcare credentials. Employers, educational institutions, airlines, and other organizations require such presentations of credentials to determine acceptance, which adds that additional level of security for everyone. Such regulation certifications such as GDPR in the EU, PEPIDA in Canada, and the Consumer Data Right (CDR) in Australia can help to change the standard of access to someone’s personal information from entitlement to request. This regulation also empowers individuals to control what data they wish to exchange and expose when they share, how they share, and with whom they share that data.
By storing one’s records in a digital wallet, that individual will gain more control over who has access to their personal information. The same can be applied with their medical records in reference to their vaccination status deeming their capability to board a plane. Airlines, airports, hospitality industries, international customs officials, and other employees who process arrivals and departures are the better candidates to verify those credentials that are shared with them because the relationship is more valid and truthful. The use-cases for the digital identity credentials are basically limitless. One can access online sites, vehicles, properties, share proof of graduation, voter registration information, insurance cards, electronic medical records, proof of age, and many other things. With COVID-19, the history of fraud is accelerating as we advance to more online activities and vaccine distribution is literally rounding the corner, it has become clear that the control for mastering digital identities and online data is at the hands of the individual, and offer so much potential for secure transactions of the future.
Many industries still produce the devices to print and deliver ID cards to their market, so we are not a digital world quite yet. ID cards are used in so many scenarios, throughout a large majority of workplaces, including healthcare facilities, corporate offices, warehouses, and distribution centers, educational buildings, and so many other experiences. The amount of technology that can fit into such a slender, rectangular card is amazing and workplaces continue to utilise this offering in their businesses to provide access, where access is allowed.
Samantha is BlueStar's Digital Media Specialist, and the primary contributing writer for VartechNation.
Previously, she has worked as a Public Relations Associate and a Social Media Manager.