Top 10 Shifts Required to Manage Modern Identities: Digital Identity Verification Forecast


Many people say that necessity is the mother of all innovation, and I tend to agree. This year’s pandemic has forced us to change habits and find new ways to perpetuate what’s important to us. At the same time, it has put a spotlight on industries and activities ripe for innovation thanks to the state of technology—like identity verification and authentication.

Over the last two decades, I have been exploring the intersection of payments, identity, and adaptive technologies on a mission to create a more inclusive and secure world. I’ve championed the idea of self-sovereign identity along with a small cadre of experts and, as the world continues to tune into this important space, I see ten main trends to look at as more stakeholders get involved.

I recently shared them with Cameron D’Ambrosi, Principal at One World Identity, in his State of Identity podcast and believe this list can inform new tools and standards to help us all live and move the way we want to in the world.

  1. Singular to continuous. Identity is no longer a one-time verification event. It needs to be continuously considered and adapted with respect to signals emitted through daily behaviors.
  2. All to most relevant data. Relevant data to authorize a transaction is outweighing the collection of ALL data regardless of transaction risks.
  3. Active to passive verification. Verification will happen seamlessly, only requiring an action to be taken when there are incongruent signals from the individual being verified.
  4. Singular biometric to layers of defense. A fingerprint or selfie alone will not be enough; Permutations of identity verification, multiple biometrics, and behavior signals will be combined to create higher confidence intervals for identity verification.
  5. Out of band to immediately in-session. Verification will occur in-session, immediately instead of outside of a transaction flow and an experience.
  6. Static to liveness detection. Imaging checks beyond reading a static picture, a proof of life, or proof of a document, will be required to combat synthetic fraud.
  7. National identity to contextual identity. With government-issued documents at the foundation, verification of a specific piece of data for a specific use case will rise in popularity.
  8. Transactions to access rights. Payment and identity will converge to form new methods and models for gaining access to life.
  9. Financial fraud to distortion fraudIdentity fraud will go beyond financial fraud where no money is involved, but rather manipulations of true facts to create access to goods and services that otherwise should not be possible.
  10. Single entities to a consortium for fighting identity fraud. Fighting identity fraud will no longer be tackled entity by entity, individual by individual. This fight needs consortium. Members of the public and private sector, friends, and foes will join together to ensure a safe and inclusive world.

My life has been focused on redefining how “access” is granted to individuals and entities; and how we can safely protect our identities in an increasingly digitally dependent world. I am optimistic and excited about these positive shifts and renewed focus as the identity management industry can nurture to ensure businesses grow safely and individuals’ identities are protected.

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