Decentralized Identity (DID) is a concept that is based on the total control that users should have over their personal information.
It promotes safe mechanisms, lacking a central control, where each user can decide when to share its information (totally or partially) with third parties, always under his total consent.
Amid so many scandals related to massive data leaks, hacks of platforms and misuse of personal information of users by large enterprises, the concept of Self-Sovereign Identity (another label used to refer to this idea) could return users a necessary control for the digital era in which we live.
Under a DID service, users could have a “unique identity” and use it in different web services. Due to its cryptographic nature, it would be possible for a third party to verify parts of it, such as age, sex, address, and passport number, without it being necessary to disclose this information openly or giving up custody of sensitive information.
So much is its potential that Microsoft is currently working on a prototype DID network, built on Bitcoin.
“We believe that each person needs a decentralized and digital identity that they own and control, backed by their identifiers that allow safe interactions and preserve privacy. This identity must be perfectly integrated into their lives and put them at the center of everything they do in the digital world, “said the company.
Daniel Buchner, director of programs at the Microsoft Identity Division, argues that the goal is to create a decentralized identity ecosystem in which millions of organizations, people and many devices interact securely through an interoperable system based on standards and open source components.
Other projects such as Solid, Finema and Civic also point in the same direction as Microsoft.