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The future of digital ID

itsme pushing digitalisation to a higher level 3 years after it was launched, the use of itsme continues to rise. It was exactly 1 year ago that itsme passed the important landmark of 1 million users and today there are already 2 million. In May of last year, we recorded 3.75 million itsme actions. This year we’re at the 8 million mark, which is more than twice as many for the month. That puts itsmewell on the way to achieving the milestone of 100 million actions for the year! But what's next?

A source of confidence and trust in a digital world 

The digital society we live in needs a secure and reliable means of exchanging data between people and/or businesses, while respecting the privacy of that data. To make this possible, we need to be able to identify the parties sending and receiving information, and to guarantee the secure transfer and storage of data. In each of these areas, itsme has demonstrated that it has the highest levels of qualifications. Better still, with itsmeusers also have firm control over their actions in the world online at all times.

A digital ID system such as itsme ensures that individuals are able to identify themselves securely online, while exchanging the minimum amount of data. What’s great about an itsmeaccount is that it guarantees the other party that there is a real physical person on the other end of the exchange, whose identity can be established beyond all doubt. This is often enough to create a sufficient level of trust between the parties in most P2P (person-to-person) dealings (for example when selling second-hand goods or in the world of the “sharing economy”).

Centralised or decentralised data storage?

There are often principle-based debates in the media about the centralised or decentralised storage of data. In fact, there are no real winners or losers in this debate and so in reality it’s more of a ‘fetish topic’. Both models have their pros and cons – and in actual fact, the real answer depends on the quality of the implementation, which is examined extensively when it comes to awarding the European eIDAS accreditation we have already spoken about.

NB: a fully decentralised set-up, in which data is stored only on the user’s mobile device, without any centralised control, often struggles when it comes to dealing with ‘lifecycle events’ (e.g. a change of phone), proactively detecting fraud and the degree to which a solution can be audited

A hybrid model that combines the best of both worlds

In many cases, a particular action requires more information than just the person’s identity. For instance, when a doctor wants to retrieve a patient’s medical records, there must be a way of establishing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the person asking for the information really is a doctor and that there is actually a doctor-patient relationship between the two. In the jargon, this additional information is called ‘attributes’. Each individual field, such as banking, insurance, the medical sector, property, HR, mobility and so on, has a specific ecosystem in which these attributes are managed. This makes each ecosystem, as it were, a data islandon which data relevant to that particular sector involved is managed, stored and used.

itsme is set up in such a way that its can easily interact with other data platforms. This creates a very hybrid and flexible model in which data is managed at the most appropriate locations where security and efficient management can best be guaranteed. So it make sense that itsme should go for a model in which ID data is managed centrally, but where the attributes concerned are decentralised.

The role of itsme in the world of tomorrow 

The world around us is digitalising at a very rapid rate. This is not a monolithic process, but one that is happening across all of the different sectors, involving lots of players, big and small. A strong international digital identity, that can be put to use flexibly by all of those players in digital interactions, is an essential link in identifying everyone simply, sharing data in total security and respecting privacy. That’s what itsme is ready to do.

Would you like to know more about itsme

Watch the webinar or contact us.