Another day, another big data hack, this time at Equifax. Having your data stolen from some big company database is now pretty much an expectation for anyone who interacts with online services.
Data is more valuable than oil, yet most big companies are using haphazard systems and outdated technology to secure our most valuable asset. It’s akin to storing gold behind a white picket fence, any opportune thief is going to go for that gold, it’s too easy. The challenge with these big companies is that they move too slow, don’t innovate enough and don’t want to spend money securing other people’s data so it’s left up to you to take back control of your own data with the help of an end to end encryption app.
This kind of control is available to us right now thanks to advances in technologies like blockchain, encryption, decentralized storage and biometric security and there are companies out there such as Cove Identity, your private digilocker, looking into ways to use these technologies to help users control their own data and hence secure digital identity, which is generally referred to as self-sovereign identity.
So here are some use cases of how Cove Identity could help you secure identity using these technologies:
I’ve put this at the top because a lot of our community are excited by this idea. With Cove Identity, an end to end encryption app, it will be possible to sign up for a service, using decentralized identity, without sharing any of your personal data with the company. If companies trust our verification system, they could set a minimum verification score for each data point they require (eg name, date of birth, email) and simply trust that the data is accurate and valid and not even need to see it to create a user account. They would then communicate with you through the Cove app making it a sort of decentralized communications system. You have full control over how you’re communicated to and don’t share any data, the company gets more signups because it’s so simple and safe, and is still able to interact with their users.
Controlled sharing with companies
Some companies will need some of your data for good reason eg KYC. In those situations, through Cove you could provide them access to those data points or verified documents stored in decentralized encryption and you could revoke their access should you need to.
Controlled sharing with peers
Your friend needs your passport details to book a flight for you, this is valuable data to a hacker and really shouldn’t be emailed or permanently shared with anyone. As soon as you share this data with a friend you place the responsibility of protecting your identity with them. With Cove, you could share the data encrypted and only allow your friend to see the information and once they’re done, their access is revoked and they can no longer see the document or data, re-securing it and preventing hackers from intercepting it later when somebody’s email gets hacked. This is done using Decentralized Identity
The obvious problem with centralised storage is that if there is one mistake or breach, everyone who has data stored in that same place is vulnerable but with decentralized encryption storage, if a breach happens, only one person’s data is vulnerable and if that person is using Cove, that data is encrypted anyway so the breachers wouldn’t be able to see anything useful.
We’re building a system that aims to provide full end-to-end control of your data and secure identity meaning that when you store it, sign up for something, share it with others etc, your data is as secure as it can be. So with all the other options closed off, the key access point for you to access your data is your phone. The advent of phone-based biometrics makes it really difficult for someone to access Cove on your phone, keeping that important access point secure.
So as you can see above, a paradigm shift is under way in terms of who controls their data and how we share it with people and companies. The benefits to you the end user is enormous but it will take a lot of convincing to get companies to get onboard as they love to hoard our data but if we all work together on this, the reluctant ones will be forced to interact with users on their terms or risk losing business.
Check out more about our secure digital identity platform and share your vital information securely by trying out our digilocker app here