Below is a copy of our October 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: October 2020
Welcome back to another SSI Roundup. Today, we’re sharing a few inspiring examples of just how far the verifiable credential movement has come in the last year, discussing the need for Privacy by Design, and honoring those who have dedicated their careers to advancing the principles of #GoodID.
We have a great panel planned for the end of the month focused on the future of digital wallets, the ‘Wallet Wars,’ and the path to mainstream adoption. We’d love to have you join us.
We’d also like to extend our thoughts and best wishes to John Jordan after his accident in July. A long-time friend of ours, John is a pioneer in the Self-Sovereign Identity space and currently works for the Government of British Columbia as well as serving as the executive director of the Trust over IP Foundation. A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise the funds needed to get John back home.
Our top content picks from the past month
In the digital identity edition of their ‘Internet 2030’ prediction series, CoinDesk paints a picture of a not-so-distant future where individuals are in control of their identity and data. It’s a future where passwords are a thing of the past, consumers can take their identities from one platform to another, and we can all browse the digital world with confidence and trust.
The article cites several leading industry experts, including Rouven Heck, Kaliya Young, and Evernym’s Drummond Reed, and carries a central note of optimism for this new, self-sovereign future.
Last week, we announced a number of updates for Connect.Me (our digital wallet app) and our Mobile SDK. Most significantly, we unveiled a new look-and-feel for Connect.Me designed to make the experience more intuitive for the average user.
Some of the more visible changes include:
- Showing the credential offer in full-screen, with the issuer logo front and center and the name of the credential made more prominent, allowing users to clearly see exactly what they’re getting and giving them the opportunity to scroll through the credential for additional detail.
- Making it clearer when a user is being offered data as a digital credential versus when they are being asked to share data as a proof request, to avoid potential confusion around these novel concepts.
- Displaying issued credentials in a card-like manner, borrowing from the familiarity of the physical credentials that we are used to carrying on our person.
- Replacing the list view of connections with tiles that allow the logo images to be larger and make connections easier to find at a glance.
You can preview the new interface and check out the other updates to Connect.Me and our Mobile SDK on the Evernym blog.
In September, INTEROPen and the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) hosted a two-day hackathon to explore use cases for verifiable credentials in healthcare and staff access. The event drew in over 200 attendees and culminated in demonstrations of eleven new proofs-of-concept, spanning everything from staff onboarding to verifiable prescriptions.
Evernym was a proud supporter of the event and provided participants with technical support and access to Verity, Connect.Me, and a curated developer toolkit. We were delighted to see so many teams using our tech to develop functional demos in mere hours and are proud to say that each of the five top solutions (by audience vote) was built on our products.
You can find a recap of the event and a summary of the top demos on the Evernym blog.
Good ID, a multi-sector coalition of privacy and security champions, recently announced the nominees for its annual #GoodID Awards. The nominations span three categories—privacy, security, and accountability—and honor those in the industry who have dedicated their work to improving identity for all.
We encourage you to check out all of the nominees and cast your vote (between now and Oct 22) for the most influential in each category.
2020’s been a big year for verifiable credentials, with new use cases around COVID-19 credentials and contactless identity verification shining a spotlight on the need for a digital trust infrastructure.
We saw just how big this spotlight was when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella included a demo of digital wallet and verifiable credential technology in his Ignite 2020 keynote and emphasized the importance of an “open decentralized identity system.”
A year ago, this level of attention and urgency for mission-critical business cases would’ve seemed implausible. Now, it seems inevitable.
Give it a watch, starting at the 53:48 mark.
As we’ve seen with the recent headlines around contact tracing, deep fakes, and the surveillance economy, identity verification can be just as much a threat as a boon.
Designed poorly, digital identity systems can invade our privacy and aggravate existing social inequalities. Designed with privacy at the forefront, they can make the world a safer, more trustworthy place.
This article, by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, explores a few of the many privacy considerations that must go into a digital identity system, the advances presented by verifiable credentials and decentralized identifiers, and the work still to be done.
Last month, Evernym’s Richard Esplin sat down with one of our favorite open source podcasts, FLOSS Weekly, for a discussion on the importance of verifiable credentials and owning one’s identity. The interview touches on the history of Hyperledger Indy and Trust over IP, and on how Evernym thinks about open source software.
Give it a listen here.
SSI’s long been touted as the password killer, with the potential to replace siloed usernames and passwords with a portable identity credential one can store on her device and use anywhere credentials are accepted.
This article explores the technology that makes credential-enabled passwordless authentication possible and discusses how SSI represents a significant improvement over both single-sign-on and multi-factor models.
Read the full article in Security Magazine.
In another example of just how far credentials have come in the past year, our partners at Deloitte UK have dedicated an entire section of their 2020 Annual Report to the portable credential project we wrapped up earlier this year.
The project, which took place within the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, was a collaboration between Evernym, Deloitte, and Onfido to show how consumers could safely apply for new financial products using digital credentials.
You can read about the project in Deloitte UK’s Annual Report.
Upcoming (virtual) SSI events
- Internet Identity Week (IIW) XXXI (Oct 20-22): Join us for the biggest ‘unconference’ in digital identity, which is going virtual for the second time since the start of the pandemic.
- Evernym Webinar: The Future of Digital Wallets (Oct 27): We’re hosting a panel of industry experts for a discussion on the ‘Wallet Wars’ and the path to mainstream adoption.
- KNOW Digital Forum: Digital Identity & Fraud (Nov 20): We’re taking the stage with our partners at CULedger to showcase MemberPass’ answer to contactless authentication.