The Bron API
The future of seamless peer to peer data sharing
What does the Bron API do?
Enables secure peer to peer access to your personal information.
Firstly an API (application program interface) in its simplest terms is a software medium for information exchange. It specifies how software components should interact.
An API is like the waiter at a restaurant, you request a particular food, it sends the message to the kitchen and then delivers the food you requested from the kitchen. In effect the Bron API does exactly that. It enables third parties with the user’s permissions to access data or information from their MyBron Personal data wallet.
How do we share information which is verified by different parties?
Currently there is no way for you to sign in with Facebook, Google, Twitter and your identity to be accepted as verifiably true and trustworthy. Why is that? The identity you create on a platform like Facebook and further use to onboard different services (aka ‘Sign in with Facebook’) only uses the data they have collected and possess about you exclusively from their platform. It is very possible to fake this information as it is all acquired from one centralised source where you are the input. That’s why you don’t see a “Sign in with Facebook” when you are requesting a loan from a bank, filling in hospital admission forms, applying for a passport or any other process which requires verified credentials.
For this to happen you will need a way to verify your information digitally first to then pass onto the third party. Single sign on (SSO) is a convenient way to access related yet independent online services, the Bron API is an improvement on this mechanism, it provides your identity with multiple points of verified authenticity from a variety of sources. The Bron API builds an identity veracity score by measuring the trustworthiness of the data sources and the consistency of your identity attributes within and across those data sources, for example, your name verified from a bank would score higher than your Facebook name, but if these names are consistent the veracity score would be even higher. Third parties can then process their identity request at different veracity levels based on their own needs. Good thing is, having a MyBron Wallet gives you the ability to collate and own your own data putting you in the driver seat when sharing your digital identity via the Bron API.
What is the Bron API?
The Bron API connects your MyBron Wallet with third parties in a peer to peer privacy compliant manner. This version of the API and the provided API endpoints are intended for personal data extraction on an individual level where the client’s application provides a unique identification code through which the MyBron Platform identifies what data is requested. The user then authorises the access through their Personal Data Wallet and allows/declines the data request.
Owning your own data
bron.tech envisages a future where as an individual you own and control access to your data. Having access to your personal data is the first and most important precursor to building and proving your digital identity. We see platforms such as Facebook and Google as services for you to plug your personal data wallet and identity into rather than organisations who facilitate creating identities and profiles. Currently your digital footprint is spread across and owned by many corporations and institutions, stored and verified by few. This information is used to create data sets which are then sold on without passing on any of the profit. Today if you want to transfer your Facebook data to someone else you must ask permission from Facebook first, adding an additional barrier to taking control and benefiting from owning your own data. There are a few problems with centralised models for data verification and storage bron.tech aims to fix.
Decentralising identity verification offers a solution.
One of the most centralised systems in society is identity verification. Only the governments of nation states are able to issue verified identity documents, the passport. Printing money has a very similar level of centralisation. Both of these industries stand to be disrupted by blockchain technology. While the passport will certainly remain a very important document, linking multiple digital identity data sets together creates a stronger and more diverse verification process. Most transactions today are online, putting traditional identity documents online is both inefficient and insecure.
This is why we need to create a digital equivalent for verifying someone’s identity. However for this transition to be successful it is essential for the power to attest someone’s identity becomes decentralised. Move away from a single verifying actor, to multiple collaborators each contributing to build an individual’s verified digital identity. Traditionally trusted organisations such as banks and governments can become primary identity verifiers. In addition to these, other institutions such Australia Post and Transport, Roads and Maritime Services can also contribute to creating an audit trail of how the data has been accrued. Having multiple contributors increases the verifiable strength in comparison to traditional identity checks which often do not disclose the origins of the data.
If the possession of identity data becomes more decentralised and this data is only accessible through an API, the whole process of sharing identity information becomes more verifiable, secure and autonomous. Interestingly when you have decentralised identity verification infrastructure the possibility for individuals to be fiscally incentivised for sharing access to their data presents itself. bron.tech aims to create a decentralised data marketplace.
Oversharing your information:
Let’s say you have a very youthful face, the bartender asks you for your ID to verify you are over the age of 18. This has happened before, you’re prepared and provide your driver’s license. Now the bartender can verify your date of birth is before the year 2000. The issue is, whilst they look for this information, they also have access to your address, full name, signature and licence number. Take this one step further and you are overseas where an Australian drivers license is not accepted as a verified form of ID, instead you now must provide your passport, arguably the most valuable identifying document.
Over sharing irrelevant information is a genuine problem, while this example may not be particularly risky, if your bartender happens to be a nefarious actor, they are one step closer to stealing your identity. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014–2015 report; 126,300 persons in Australia were victims of identity theft, The total estimated financial loss as a result of all personal fraud incidents was $3 billion dollars.
The MyBron Wallet allows you to use an API to verify your identity data, so that only the relevant information requested is provided. As an important note; this all can happen within a minute.
Competing confidants for identity verification:
Traditional identity verification systems take time. Currently this is a given when you have to send requests to multiple data providers to confirm your information. The more requests required the longer it takes. That’s why asking for credit scores online or applying to renew your passport can take days. It’s inefficient to have your information and identity dispersed among many actors and also insecure to send one hundred point identity check details via unencrypted emails.
Let’s say you are trying to get a car loan. The loan provider has to do a credit score check, asking data brokers such as Equifax for their data on you. Equifax has to ask your bank, utility bill providers, taxation office etc. While this system works, the data becomes dated the day after it is received making it less desirable than the real time data extracted using the Bron API within a minute. These data providers also have a monopoly on the price for data verification, giving them very little incentive for innovation to improve the system.
Now you have a positive credit score, you try to get a personal loan. Shopping around the market, you realise that another bank is offering a better interest rate. However the onboarding process and switching banks requires too much time and you’re not sure whether the positive credit score will still be valid at a different bank. This is an artificial barrier to perfect competition, something which decentralising data verification can help solve, providing the consumer with better choice in a more free market.
Owning your data in a decentralised way provides solutions to many of these problems.
The MyBron Personal Wallet is a catalyst for this.
“Sign in with MyBron” for remembering your password & filling in forms.
I personally like the way wireless headphones look, while not for everyone, the real reason I use them is that they save me a minimum of 5 minutes a day on untangling time. Time is non-renewable, it’s important you make the most of what you’ve got.
You’re sitting in a hospital waiting room waiting for the receptionist to compute and verify the forms you just spent 5 minutes filling in. It’s lucky your partner was able to text you the private health insurance and medicare numbers, that would have been frustrating.
In this instance, clicking “Sign in with MyBron Wallet” and interacting with the Bron API will reduce both the time taken to fill in the forms and the verification process the hospital has to go through before providing you with treatment. This all happens in under a minute and in a secure manner providing the hospital with all of the required and requested information. This way you didn’t even need your medicare or private health numbers/cards on your person in the first place, they are stored securely in your Personal MyBron Wallet instead.
Imagine never needing to fill in a password or remember your card again, yes while this means you are no longer able to honour your first pet’s name, I’m sure they won’t mind. Using your phone as an identity device, sign in using your MyBron personal wallet and remove the need for a password. Plugging into the advancements in identity authentication systems such as biometric fingerprint scans also improves the security of your identity.
Creating verifiable proofs for your digital identity:
The blockchain provides a decentralised solution to securing the proofs of attributes that constitute your identity. If we agree that society is becoming increasingly digital, this means your identity will become intertwined and even inseparable from with your data. Therefore it would be only logical to own it for yourself. With the new data legislation in Australia makes this possible. For more info see, Australian Consumer Data Legislation paves the way for innovation.
The MyBron Wallet will allow you to keep all of your data in storage of your choice. The information you provide about yourself can create multiple data points to verify your identity. The proofs for the existence and accuracy of these attributes are stored on an encrypted distributed ledger.
You can control the keys to your data.
This is unprecedented.