This is the fifth and last post on an educational series about Self-Sovereign Identity and Decentralized Identifiers.
Decentralized identities (DID) give users complete control of their personal data, and how it is accessed. They remove third parties, call it the government or companies, who stand between an individual and the services they are using.
In the past posts we learned the different components of a DID including the personal data and the verifiable credentials and presentations. Now we would like to take you one step forward and talk about the concept of ID Hubs: the solution to safely store your personal data and information.
So what exactly is an ID Hub?
“Identity Hubs are decentralized, off-chain, personal datastores that put control over personal data in the hands of users. They allow users to store their sensitive data — identity information, official documents, app data, etc. — in a way that prevents anyone from using their data without their explicit permission.”
Users can use their ID Hubs to securely share their data with other people, apps, and businesses, while maintaining control and ownership. Users can provide limited access to the minimum amount of data needed in a given escenario.
From the app developers perspective, ID Hubs are also a great tool to reduce the complexity of data management and compliance by storing all sensitive data in the users’ Hub. This implementation reduces the developers’ risk of privacy violations and data breaches because the data would no longer be stored in the app.
An important property of the ID Hub is its ability to share across devices which means that the users can use their ID Hubs with any provider. Let’s look at a simple example:
Let’s assume Karl goes on vacation and needs to rent a car, instead of giving his driver’s licence that contains sensitive information to the service provider, he can simply use the information in his ID Hub and prove he has a valid driver’s license and that he is old enough to rent a car.
DIF and ID Hubs
The spec for the ID Hub is currently being developed by the members of the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF). The members of the foundation share the commitment to research and develop the future standards that will apply to the protection of our identity. Metadium joined the DIF in April and has been working to improve the current version of ID Hub.
So what’s the difference between DIF’s ID Hub and ours? Let us explain:
As a member of the DIF, Metadium used their reference code as a basic code and has identified three weak points:
- Performance: the current code is not designed to be used as a service, we are working to change this.
- True privacy: the personal information is encrypted before being stored in the ID Hub. The problem is that the encrypting party (or ID Hub provider) is still getting access to the “raw” data generated by the user. Metadium is adding the Keepin app to the encryption process. By doing this, the Keepin app is the one encrypting all the data and the ID Hub provider, has no access to your information before it gets encrypted and stored.
- Storage limitation: DIF’s ID Hub is designed to store personal data but we think this is not enough. We are adding the capability to store Verifiable Credential and Presentations.
Metadium is committed to create a world where people have full ownership of their identity and information. We’ll continue working hard towards this goal.