Their promise is that our identities will be consolidated so that we have complete control over who accesses that information. This will protect us from increasingly sophisticated fraud and theft. It also will create unprecedented access for the “bottom of the pyramid” who are still off the grid. Imagine crossing any border, and qualifying for any service, with immediate access to your funds and accounts, all with one simple digital ID.
An international team of researchers detected a vulnerability potentially affecting digital use of Estonian ID cards issued since October 2014.
The thorny issue of tracking of location data without risking individual privacy is very neatly illustrated via a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking London’s transport regulator to release the “anonymized” data-set it generated from a four week trial last year when it tracked metro users in the UK capital via wi-fi nodes and the MAC address of their smartphones as they traveled around its network.
In the wake of the massive Equifax system compromise, in which the personal information of at least 145 million people may have been stolen, many people have questioned the ubiquitous use of social security numbers (SSNs) for authentication. This is only the latest of many data breaches; why have we not learned better?
Facebook has its own version of Apple’s Face ID. If you get locked out of your Facebook account, the company is testing a way to regain access by using your face to verify your identity.
Exposed! A Survey of Attacks on Private DataPrivacy-preserving statistical data analysis addresses the general question of protecting privacy when publicly releasing information about a sensitive dataset. A privacy attack takes seemingly innocuous released information and uses it to discern the private details of individuals, thus demonstrating that such information compromises privacy.
The government has begun work on ensuring a completely paperless aircraft boarding process under which a mobile phone is all that will be required to board domestic flights in India.
The research has troubling implications for protestors and other dissidents, who often work to make sure they aren’t ID’d at protests and other demonstrations by covering their faces with scarves or by wearing sunglasses. “To be honest when I was trying to come up with this method, I was just trying to focus on criminals,” Amarjot Singh, one of the researchers behind the paper and a Ph.D student at Cambridge University, told me on a phone call.
The state of Illinois’ Blockchain Initiative has hooked up with digital ledger company Evernym in hopes of leading the way in creating a digital ID ecosystem, and they’re starting with birth certificates.
Social Security numbers, which have been around since the 1930s, have only one intended purpose: to track US citizens’ earnings and contributions to the Social Security program. However, universality of SSN ownership has in turn led to the SSN’s adoption by private industry as a unique identifier. Unfortunately, this universality has led to abuse.