Technology is evolving at lightning speed and the world’s attention has been turned to the benefits that it has to offer. But with new technology comes new challenges – such as how to keep our data safe and secure. In this blog article, you’ll learn more about what self-sovereign identity is and why you should care about it!
Self-sovereign identity is a way for individuals to have full control over their own digital identities. Individuals can decide how their personal data is used, and they can revoke access to this data at any time. In a world, where our data is increasingly being collected and used without our consent, self-sovereign identity offers a way for us to take back control of our personal information.
The Self-Sovereign Identity is also a component of the Decentralized Privacy meta trend. Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) enables people to interact in the digital environment with the same freedom and capacity for the trust that they do in the offline world.
The concept of decentralized privacy has gained popularity since the initial version of decentralized identifiers was released in early 2021 (searches for decentralized identities have climbed by 5x in the last two years). Self-sovereign identity reclaims authority through blockchain technology, but it requires a good governance structure to thrive. Importantly, the World Wide Web Consortium recently announced efforts to develop a decentralized identity standard. This means that startups can begin to develop standardized solutions that will function throughout the web.
There are many potential benefits of self-sovereign identity, including improved security and privacy, greater control over our personal data, and the ability to easily prove our identities online. For example, self-sovereign identity could help prevent identity theft, as well as give us more control over who has access to our personal data. In addition, self-sovereign identity could make it easier for us to prove our identities online, which would be beneficial in situations such as applying for a job or opening a bank account.
The SSI identification system allows you to use your digital wallet to validate your own identity using the credentials that have been granted to you. You must give control of your personal information to hundreds of databases every time you want to access new goods and services, risking having your identity stolen by hackers.
Until recently, the centralized identity model and the federated identity model were the primary approaches to maintaining digital identification. These two models place data control in the hands of service providers.
Centralized Identity Model
Each service provider handles the identity of users in the centralized identity model. Users log in using authentication information that varies for each service, such as a user identity and password. Today, the centralized identity concept is widely employed. However, from the user’s perspective, there are several downsides, including the necessity to handle authentication information for each service, fragmentation of identity for each service, and giving the service operator power over identity.
Federated Identity Model
Several identity providers form agreements with one another and operate under a common trust framework, or “federation,” under the federated identity paradigm. Anyone with an identity in one identity provider can access identities in other identity providers. For example, logging onto new services with a Google or Facebook account. However, the majority of current federated identity services rely solely on one service provider to serve as the trusted identity verification.
Difference Between Centralized Identity Model and Federated Identity Model
The Federated Model enhances user convenience over the Centralized Identity Model. Because less authentication information is managed, but identity sovereignty remains with the identity service providers. Additionally, it increases the chance that some authentication data may be compromised, allowing unauthorized users to log into numerous services.
Benefits of Self-Sovereign Identity
There are many benefits to using self-sovereign identity (SSI) instead of traditional forms of identity verification. With SSI, you are in control of your own data and can decide who has access to it. This gives you a high degree of privacy and security, as well as the ability to change or delete your data at any time. In addition, SSI is built on open standards, which makes it more interoperable and future-proof than traditional identity systems.
Disadvantages of Self-Sovereign Identity
One of the potential disadvantages of self-sovereign identity is that it could lead to information overload. If every entity has its own unique identifier, there could be a lot of data to keep track of. This could make it difficult to find the information you need when you need it.
Another possible downside of self-sovereign identity is that it could create silos of information. If each entity only shares information with those who have permission. It could be difficult to get a complete picture of someone or something. This could make it harder to fight fraud or other crimes.
Finally, self-sovereign identity systems could be vulnerable to hacking or other forms of cyber attack. If an attacker gets access to an entity’s private key. They could potentially impersonate that entity and gain access to sensitive data. This could have serious implications for privacy and security.
Future Trends in Self-Sovereign Identity
ID2020 Alliance and the Sovrin Foundation are working together to promote self-sovereign identity (SSI). SSI is an online identity model that allows individuals and organizations to own, control, and manage their own digital identities. This is in contrast to the current model where online identities are centrally controlled by government agencies or large corporations.
The benefits of SSI is improved security, privacy, individual control over one’s online identity, and the ability to easily verify one’s identity online. In addition, SSI has the potential to help reduce fraud and improve the efficiency of various online processes. For example, imagine being able to quickly and easily verify your identity when applying for a job or for a new service.
While SSI is still in its early stages of development, it is already beginning to gain traction. In 2018, the United Nations released a report that called for the development of SSI systems. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it was working on a decentralized identifier (DID) system based on the Sovrin platform.
It is referred to as a “Self-sovereign” identity because each individual is now in control of their own identity – they are their own sovereign nation. People have the ability to govern their own knowledge and relationships. A person’s digital existence is no longer dependent on an organization: no one can take away their identification. However, in order to give the real value of the technology, a governance framework for its functioning must be established.