This advertisement is concealed as an unbiased article for a new identity product being directly pitched to the Canadian government as a digital identity solution that lets consumers own their identity. I’ll explain why these solutions need to be vetted very carefully after this short blurb from the article:
“KABN Systems NA Holding Corp. (CSE: KABN) is an emerging Canadian digital identity provider that has set out to help people navigate these choppy waters. The company has created an integrated suite of digital identity, financial and loyalty services, built on KABN ID, an “Always On,” biometrically-based, privacy-compliant validation and verification platform that allows users to continuously and confidently prove themselves to the online community, exchanges and other services.
On that technology foundation, KABN is launching Liquid Avatar, a consumer-oriented service where users will create an account based around a unique avatar through which they can conduct all online activities — from seeing a medical practitioner to making secure online purchases. Expected to launch this summer, Liquid Avatar will emulate everything a wallet and keys do in the real world, authenticating user identity through biometrics to ensure security.”
Mercator Advisory Group has performed significant research on this topic, which can be viewed here, here, here, and here. Perhaps most interesting is the fact that in this research I identify existing solutions that are implemented on the principles of Self Sovereign Identity. This includes the Canadian province of British Columbia which has already deployed its Verifiable Organizations Network (VON), implemented on the open source Hyperledger Indy as described in the Case Study here. Why Canada would be interested in purchasing a solution is yet another question all together.
Very simply, identity is excruciatingly complex to manage while maintaining the privacy promise, and the idea of “proof of identity” is a relative term. State actors are experts at creating identities out of thin air, so generally the best you can hope for is a high percent of confidence. The complexity is too great to document here, but there are very smart people working on this problem and a good starting point for understanding how this complexity can be managed is here.
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group