Taking A More Tactical View of Identity And How It Affects Our Daily Lives (Part 2)
Continuing from Part 1, lets’ dive deeper in to daily use cases for eligibility, verifying relationships, and supporting dependents. These situations have ways today to verify identity but those ways aren’t always efficient or effective. Let’s go through some to see the differences a portable, cross-domain identity solution could make.
Every day you probably have to show/scan some kind of ID to do the following. And keep in mind that all uses don’t have to be life-or-death important. Often we simply want to improve our daily experience by making common activities faster and more pleasant, while also reducing any friction in the system like fraud or errors. Imagine replacing each of these individual identity cards with a single blockchain-based solution:
- Entering your office and other daily work tasks. Think of how often you have to take out your employee badge to swipe it for access to your building, parking garage, even individual conference rooms or elevators floors. Getting access to computer systems at work also requires validating who you are. College students, too, have to swipe their IDs for access to their dormitories. Imagine replacing that badge with a reusable identity certification on a blockchain that has been linked to your corporate systems. Imagine also how much more simple it would be for the employer, who no longer has to shut off access or worry about retrieving credentials from employees who leave because it only has to revoke the access on the blockchain and then it automatically updates all eligibility at once.
- Helping elderly parents or dependent children get benefits or address daily administrative burdens. There are many situations where we are acting on behalf of someone else. And in those instances, we need to prove multiple things: who we are, who the other person is, that we have a relationship to each other, that we have the legal standing to help that person we have a relationship with, and that the person we’re helping is eligible for whatever we’re trying to access. With all of that information in place, we only then get to talk to nurses, social security, or other services that our parents often need as they age. Similarly, even simple things for our children like filling out school forms or dealing with doctor appointments need us to demonstrate identity, relationship, and legal status. Imagine being able to automatically have all of that information automatically available and updated so that you’ll be able to help others without having to constantly having to prove all of these identity pieces over and over.
- Borrow a book from the library and other town services. Many of us have grown up with library cards, so we think of them as one piece of identity, but they actually are a combination of multiple pieces — one that you are in fact who you say you are, two that you reside in the town where the library is, and third that you are in good standing with the library and can continue to take out books. And the library often re-validates the data regularly to ensure continued eligibility. However, the first two components are already incorporated into blockchain identity systems, and the third piece about eligibility could easily be added as a claim by the library instead of the library having to continue with its own system. And other common services offered to town residents like permit parking, which also need to tie your identity to ownership of an asset like a car, benefit even more. The town would benefit from being able to streamline identity management, because all of the separate systems for managing identity would be eliminated.
- Get food from the university cafeteria or other school resources. Like employees, university students (and in fact, high school and other younger students) also carry specific badges that allow them access to food in the cafeteria, ability to enter school property, borrow or use school equipment, and other resources. Like the other examples here, that badge validates identity, residency (for public schools,) and eligibility.
It might not seem like these are massively world changing use cases for portable, cross-domain identity, but that’s actually the point. No technology changes the world until it changes our daily lives. These mundane but common use cases are exactly the way many of us will begin to use digital identities that leverage blockchain technology. We’ll benefit from simplifying our daily lives while protecting ourselves from identity theft, fraud and other issues with identity data.