Identity in the Digital World

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Written by Tom Whitney, Head of Solutions Consultancy 

In a world where most transactions are digital, remote and involve fewer and fewer personal interactions, identity is really important. 

We use digital accounts to access everything from groceries to border control, from phone apps to pension statements. At the same time, organisations such as retailers, banks and government departments try to learn as much about you as possible to provide the most personalised experience, whether it be for commercial loyalty-card data capture, citizen security or Know-Your-Customer regulatory obligations.

Commonly, data is combined into a ‘profile’ of the individual. A profile which then represents the customer in the systems, and balance-sheets of organisations.  You provide your data to an organisation you want to interact with, subsequently creating a ‘profile’ that is used to authorise, secure, track and enable your activity.

However, what if your data is compromised? How are organisations protecting the data you entrust them with? 

Traditionally, organisations gatekeep data with the likes of passwords, pin codes or security questions. Asking you to prove your identity by supplying information only you could know. But this information can be compromised, stolen or forgotten. Passwords etc are ultimately not very secure and are annoying for the end-user. However, with the arrival of biometric solutions, this approach to gatekeeping data can be revamped. 

When customer profiles are tied together by a robust, secure biometric, instead of something like a password, the emphasis switches from information that the user knows to being driven by what they actually are. The best biometric for this use case is the face, as it not only proves your identity but ties you to your legal identity. The Face is the only biometric that is found on government issues documents (passports, driver’s licences etc.)

With this in mind, and using technology such as iProov, I can now use my face to assert my identity, and my genuine presence, to request access to the products or services I’m looking for. I’m essentially saying “I’m a real person, I’m the right person, and I’m here right now, let me progress/enter/transact…” 

By asserting my identity with biometrics, digital transactions and digital profiles can evolve from relying on passwords to true identities. These ‘Digital Identities’ can then be applied across multiple services, eliminating the need for remembering and using a separate set of credentials and shared secrets for each service.  Now, individuals need only one thing to assert who they are, their face, enabling them to engage more easily in the digital economy. 

And how many of your customers would prefer to feel in control of their digital identity with an easy, and secure, customer experience?

Connect with Tom: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomwhitney/

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