Speaking after the launch of the partnership, Maurice, the CEO of Attest said that:
“A government-issued digital identity has the potential to reduce costs and risk for businesses in all industries, while also providing citizens with greater security, privacy and control over personal data.”
Attest is an identity management company domiciled in Chicago. Cab Morris and Jennifer O’Rourke, who were former employees of the State of Illinois, formed the company. They established a technical partnership with Digital Bazaar, a web 3.0 solutions platform, to develop a government identity solution. The duo hoped that their solution would not only serve Illinois residents and US citizens but also other world citizens.
The partnership between Attest and Delloite integrates the identity management solutions company into one of the “Big Four” accounting firm’s existing end-to-end solutions.
Purportedly, the partnership will develop two products that will help in the digital identification of citizens. The first product is an Attest Wallet. The wallet, just like other cryptocurrency wallets, is a cryptographically secured identity storage. Reportedly, the wallet will enable users to store digital versions of their identification documents in a single repository and control the access of the storage.
The second solution is Attest Enterprise. It will comprise two application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable users to authenticate themselves, authorise third parties, and grant consent to anyone to manage their identities on their behalf. Speaking on the wallet, Wendy Henry, managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, said:
“While many companies are looking at using a personal wallet in which the individual has control of their digital identity credential, government must serve the whole of citizens, including those who may not be able to accept the control of their identity credential in a digital form”.
Buttressing the remarks by Henry, Morris elaborated that:
“I wouldn’t say it’s a replacement but a truly digital version of your social security card, your driver’s license, your health records,”
Decentralisation: Motive behind the Solutions
The existing methods of proving identity through a central system come with inherent weaknesses. Social security cards and drivers licences rely on plastic and paper solutions whose ease of forgery is faster than cryptographic signatures. On the other hand, corporate solutions such as Facebook have been reported to monetise user’s data. Moreover, credit agencies such as Equifax establish a “honeypot” of data that attracts successful hackers.
Therefore, the solution lies in decentralising the “honeypots” by moving data to individual wallets tracked on a distributed ledger. That way, the hacker has to break into each wallet, individually. Definitely, the effort may not be worthwhile.
“In some sense, the economics of cyber risk start to shift a little bit because with blockchain,” says Morris
He further elaborated how the authentication system works by elaborating that:
“But one that allows you to cryptographically authenticate to a variety of different service providers in a way that you would typically with Facebook Connect or Google Sign-in.”
Delloite’s Foray into Blockchain Applications
In September 2018 report published by Deloitte, it assessed the blockchain initiatives that the public sector is exploring. The initiatives included voting, supply chain, taxation, healthcare and intragovernmental transactions.
In the same month, Deloitte announced its intention to help RiskBlock Alliance blockchain consortium to work with Canadian-based property-casualty and life/annuity insurers.
Still, in September, Delloite pointed out five basic areas of development that will enable the technology to achieve largescale adoption.