Digital identity is a rapidly growing field, driven by the increasing need for secure and trustworthy online transactions. Artificial intelligence (AI) can be a catalyst for digital identities, and how they are used across the globe - but there’s a long way to go.
Companies and governments must come together to establish standards for consistency and interoperability – and on the consumer-facing end, increase user awareness and lessen friction, to ensure that the future of digital identity gives benefit to business and consumers alike.
Digital identity means different things to different people, but it is clear that there are so many use cases where it can improve the way that consumers and businesses interact. Online usernames and passwords are a broken system, as they can be hacked and user friction is heavy. The future of digital identity means improving this system, making it more secure and creating a better experience for users. A very secure and low-friction way to do this is to verify a user’s biometrics, such as with a facial scan, adding in a check of passive signals from their device where needed, and then using that same verified identity to access other services like bank accounts, car rentals, social media, and onward.
One of the challenges associated with AI is ensuring that it is unbiased and does not discriminate against certain groups of people. Onfido is committed to taking bias and discrimination out of its data as much as possible. We examine practices around the world to see how different countries are approaching this issue, and aim to take an inclusive approach by weeding out any data that could cause discrimination when training the models. In response to customers asking how we use AI, we publish whitepapers about bias mitigation and continue to refine our products to industry-leading levels.
Industry standards are another important factor in the future of digital identity verification – needed for trustworthiness and consistency across the industry. In the UK, for example, the government has set regulatory rules in the form of a trust framework, and has then stepped back to allow the industry to promote the technology without over-intervention from the government. The aim is to achieve consistency across the UK and improve user awareness and trust. The EU, US and other countries have their own approaches.
However, there is disparity in standards and regulations across jurisdictions, and interoperability is a major issue. The industry needs to ensure that, for example, the approach in the UK can be recognized or scaled into the US and around the world. Different markets should not require different versions of the same thing. Onfido is a strong advocate for interoperability, and the whole industry needs to push for it to boost innovation.
Onfido also focuses on user empowerment, ideally giving users the power to decide what is done with their data, how it is stored, and how it is used. Currently, there is not a great deal of end-user awareness of digital identity, and there is a lot of concern. Onfido aims to improve this situation by coming up with a trustworthy, simple way for users to adopt digital identity. We want to see digital identity well-understood by the public, with a high level of security and privacy.
Onfido is at the forefront of the digital identity verification revolution. We are committed to taking bias and discrimination out of our data and are exploring the use of the same digital identity for all different purposes. We are a strong advocate for interoperability and user empowerment, and continue to work to improve end-user awareness of digital identity.