Click on the right side image to check out the Trusted Key guest post on Auth0’s blog. In the post we detail how to implement Authenticated Identity using the Trusted Key Digital Identity Wallet together with Auth0’s powerful back-end, and user management capabilities. Any conversations around real-life identity are likely to generate strong opinions. I personally believe that most people will easily embrace using a secure verified digital identity to make everyday tasks easier and more convenient such as setting up a bank account or participating in government services. Where the arguments usually start however is when real-life identity is attempted in broader social websites and applications. I don’t need to re-hash all the arguments pro and con, you can find many excellent articles on the topic by simply googling search terms such as “real world identity”. Certainly one recent addition to the discussion is governments such as China looking to enforce real world identity on chat platforms such as Weibo, and even dating websites.
As a technology provider I should be clear that Trusted Key is agnostic on the issue. We recognize the strong benefits of anonymity in a world where political and social opinions can result in real-life repercussions. At the same time you have many pondering if policies such as use of real-names could lead to more civil online discourse that in turn leads to greater participation. Regardless of your position it seems hard to avoid the fact that technologies such as OCR, facial recognition, blockchain, and self-sovereign wallets, as offered by Trusted Key, will open up doors for any online service to potentially enforce user identity policies that are confirmed through government issued documents. In an ideal world it would be left up to consumers to choose if they wish to trade their online anonymity for whatever benefits such a platform could provide. Platforms who get the balance correct will win, platforms who get it wrong will change or wither.
The development of this article spurred a number of interesting conversations in our own office. When we were developing the Trusted Key Digital Identity Wallet our focus was really on applications such as financial services where we saw the greatest need. However, as we deployed the platform taking advantage of powerful plaforms such as Auth0, and open standards such as OpenID Connect, it became clear that self-sovereign digital identity wallets have the potential to disrupt user authentication policies across the social web. It will be interesting to see if services actually do make use of these capabilities to alter online relationships with global friends and strangers.
The topic is quite timely as technology makes it easier to ingest and confirm users real-life identity it will be more practical for websites and applications to implement new ways to filter and validate users for differentiated service experiences.