The digitalisation of society makes life easier in many respects, but also reveals all kinds of problems. Data protection concerns in particular have been raised again and again by experts in recent years. At the centre of the criticism is the handling of personal data and the lack of control for internet users over which providers they share it with. The decentralisation of digital identity within the framework of a self-sovereign identity is one way to counter this problem and offers numerous advantages for both private users and companies.
What is the Self-Sovereign Identity?
A digital identity is created, for example, wherever Internet users are required to log in. As part of a login process, personal data such as the email address, account details, ID card number or address are required for verification. Digital identities generated in this way are stored centrally by the social networks, banks or online mail order companies and verified if necessary and made available to other companies and service providers if required. For example, many platforms allow logging in using the social media account or the Google identity.
The self-sovereign identity (SSI), on the other hand, is generated by the user himself and stored in a self-managed digital wallet. This gives the internet user complete control over their digital identity and allows them to decide with whom they share what personal data. In some cases, it may also be necessary for certain attributes of the self-generated identity to be verified by third parties. These verifications are stored decentrally in the form of certificates within a blockchain and do not allow outsiders to draw any conclusions about the owner of the wallet. The blockchain thus serves as an intermediary for attributes verified by third parties.
Thanks to the decentralised storage within a blockchain, this procedure is forgery-proof. If the user is now required to log in or register on an internet platform, the necessary (verified) certificates can be transmitted with the self-determined identity. For example, with an SSI, the age of majority can be established beyond doubt, provided the user has deposited their ID card in their digital wallet.
Advantages of the self-determined identity
For both internet users and companies, there are numerous positive aspects to using an SSI. On the user side, complete control over when and with whom important personal data is shared is the decisive criterion for the use of a decentralised identity. Instead of granting numerous companies access to sensitive documents, all that is required is the transmission of the corresponding certificates. On the one hand, this creates security for users and, on the other hand, significantly simplifies digital life.
For companies, the handling of sensitive data with personal references is reduced thanks to the Self-Sovereign Identity, as primarily verified certificates are transmitted. This simplifies registration processes for companies and at the same time reduces the data protection effort in dealing with sensitive data. However, employees or suppliers can also generate an SSI, which speeds up internal processes in the company’s everyday life and makes them more secure.
SSI creates trust and security
The Self-Sovereign Identity puts the user at the centre of the action, but at the same time it should simplify corporate processes. Therefore, user-friendliness and simple implementation of the SSI model in existing company structures are of great importance to myEGO. The digital identity can also be used for legitimisation procedures in the analogue world. myEGO therefore sees the self-determined identity as an opportunity to give users back autonomy over their personal data, as well as to simplify data security for companies, speed up internal processes and create trust for their own customers.