Approaching a new era of user experience: reusable digital identity
Enter your personal information, create a unique password, verify your email, confirm your identity... Registering with a new service provider online takes time and patience, and yet we do it over and over. What if there was a way to simplify the process? The solution is reusable digital identity, and it's already in the making.
Constructing digital identity as a personal asset
From day one, the main purpose of the World Wide Web was to exchange information. Three decades later, an average internet user owns 100 password-protected online accounts. We open bank accounts, interact on sharing economy platforms and explore other ways to engage with the gig economy. Each provider creates a 1:1 relationship with the user, collecting information from scratch.
To say the least, such relationships are inefficient - and outdated. But what about consumer pains, such as clumsy user experience and a long list of passwords? As our online presence continues to grow at a high pace, the need for consumer centric identity solutions will grow with it. It's time for a change.
As a modern solution, reusable digital identity takes control away from enterprises and hands it over to the users. In 1:1 relationships, it's easy to lose track of where your information goes and who owns it. It's more vulnerable to data breaches and it's very complicated to update in case something - for example last name - changes. That's why putting digital identity in the hands of the user isn't just efficient - it's safer and more reliable.
Private providers lead the way
As a new technology revolution approaches, high hopes fall upon private trust service providers. Facing high security requirements from day one, they already shape digital identity with e-signatures, identity verification and KYC schemes. They also focus on innovation and smooth user experience - exactly what the new generation of digital identity calls for.
Another fundamental tool for this transition is eID. Today, it is fully effective in just a handful of countries, but new government-led initiatives are on the rise. With success stories already in place, more countries are expected to launch eID soon.
Even with all the tools we have now, there is no tested recipe for the perfect reusable identity system. At first glance, this creates a level playing field for both private and public institutions. But compared to government-led institutions, private providers attract more investment and act much quicker. Given this advantage, it's no surprise that private companies will lead the change. In fact, a full shift towards reusable digital identity should happen by the end of this decade.