Below is a copy of our December 2020 newsletter, The SSI Roundup. To get the best SSI headlines, events, and resources sent straight to your inbox each month, subscribe below:
The Self-Sovereign Identity Roundup: December 2020
Welcome back to the last SSI Roundup of 2020. Today, we’re sharing a few examples of just how far the self-sovereign identity category has come in the last year and reflections on what COVID-19’s lasting impacts mean for verifiable credentials.
As always, thank you for subscribing. From all of us at Evernym, we wish you a happy holiday season and a healthy and joyful new year.
Our top content picks from the past month
This time last year, the idea that airline passengers would soon be using verifiable credentials to share travel documents and health credentials would have seemed improbable to even those most bullish on the technology. Today, it’s viewed as critical for reopening borders and travel.
In November, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced their Travel Pass initiative, which runs on Evernym tech and enables airlines to verify travel documents and health credentials in a safe, contactless manner.
Interoperability is critically important to the long-term success of verifiable credentials, but what might this look like in practical rather than theoretical terms and how can we as a community come together to make this happen?
Evernym’s Chief Architect, Daniel Hardman, recently explored these fundamental questions, describing the three primary credential communities and proposing a path to convergence in the name of accelerated progress.
You can find his analysis on our blog.
What makes an identity solution truly “self-sovereign?” Historically, it’s been a hard question to answer, as more and more solutions pop up in the name of SSI but with varying degrees of privacy, security, and portability.
To put a stake in the ground, the Sovrin Foundation recently published the community’s consensus on the core ethics and policies that must guide any digital identity ecosystem that chooses to align with SSI.
You can find these principles on the Sovrin Foundation site, translated into 15 languages to best represent SSI’s increasingly global community and impact.
4. Can Credentials Heal what Ails Healthcare? Lumedic Launches New Quest for Digital Identity Standards
It’s hard to think of an industry better suited for verifiable credentials than healthcare, where manual, error-prone, and time-consuming billing and insurance verification processes cost over $500B in the US alone.
To address this pain, we’ve worked with our partners at Lumedic and Mastercard to launch the Lumedic Exchange, a new effort to create standards for digital identity in healthcare and streamline the exchange of patient data.
“We’re living in a digital-first world, and patients today expect the same seamless, real-time experiences in their healthcare interactions that they have everywhere else,” commented Mike Nash, Lumedic CEO in a press release. “Right now, patient data lives with any number of organizations, making it difficult for patients to have control of their own information. The Exchange is the first healthcare ecosystem focused specifically on using verifiable credentials to exchange information through patient-led transactions.”
You can learn more about the Lumedic Exchange on GeekWire.
As COVID-19 continues to drive digital transformation, the need for verifiable credentials and the Trust over IP model has never been clearer. For governments, credentials can help reopen travel, reduce the costs and improve access to healthcare, streamline KYC and financial transactions, and help connect students with employers needing their skills—all while saving governments billions in the costs of connecting and protecting their digital infrastructure.
To examine these many use cases, the Trust over IP Foundation recently hosted a virtual panel that featured speakers from Evernym, Mastercard, LG CNS, Accenture, GLEIF, and other leaders in the digital identity space.
You can find the recording here.
For years, data privacy and GDPR have been viewed as a cross to bear for marketers and brands. They’re often viewed as antithetical to the growth strategies popularized by the likes of Amazon, Facebook, and Google built on troves of user data.
Yet, as 2021 rapidly approaches, we’re seeing leading brands starting to recognize that data privacy isn’t a hindrance but a source of competitive advantage—especially when combined with the customer experience benefits of verifiable credentials.
To learn more, check out our op-ed in TechCrunch.
Back in November, Microsoft urged its users to abandon telephone-based multi-factor authentication (MFA) solutions, like one-time codes sent via SMS and voice calls, citing security risks.
It’s a vulnerability our partners at CULedger have often warned about, referring to over-the-phone authentication as the “weakest link” in security. To elaborate on this argument and explore how verifiable credentials solve the issues associated with traditional MFA, they recently published an article comparing multiple types of MFA against MemberPass, their credential-based authentication solution for credit unions.
Continue reading on CULedger’s MemberPass blog.
With air travel down almost 85%, airlines and airports around the world are doing everything they can to safely reopen and rebuild confidence. Yet, while much of the recent conversations have centered around vaccination mandates and social distancing, airports have been forced to redesign the entire passenger experience—from the way they take payments to how they verify travel documents.
This article explores some of COVID-19’s lasting impacts and how organizations are responding with safer, contactless processes.
Read the full article on Biometric Update.
Earlier this month, the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) launched a cross-industry effort to create a new ecosystem and credential governance framework for verifiable legal entity identifiers (vLEIs).
According to the announcement, “the vLEI will extend the Global LEI System to create a fully digitized LEI service capable of enabling instant and automated identity verification between counterparties operating across all industry sectors, globally. It will give government organizations, companies, and other legal entities worldwide the capacity to use the LEI’s non-repudiable identification data in a growing number of digital business activities, such as approving business transactions and contracts, onboarding customers, transacting within import/export and supply chain business networks and submitting regulatory filings and reports.”
Read more on Ledger Insights.
Last but not least, Evernym announced several new improvements for our Verity digital credential platform, as well as new milestones in performance, stability, and scalability testing.
Our goal is to offer our customers not just best-in-class technology, but also the support and reliability needed to deploy real-world SSI implementations at scale. We consider it a great honor to be the trusted provider of solutions like IATA Travel Pass, MemberPass, and the 300+ organizations that have signed up for our Sandbox Plan in the six month since its launch. While the work is far from done, it’s your continued feedback and support that have gotten us to where we are today, and we think you’ll like what we have in store for 2021. 🙂
Read the highlights on our blog.
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Thanks, and happy holidays from all of us at Evernym.