SecureKey's Andre Boysen explains promise of new ledger-based identity approaches
“We’ve been making the case for about 10 years now that society needs to make a change in digital identity,” says Andre Boysen, Chief Identity Officer at SecureKey Technologies, a Toronto-based identity and authentication provider. “The industry is crying out for a better solution.”
Boysen has a better solution in mind. SecureKey is now working with the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) and IBM to develop a digital identity network using blockchain technology. Last October, large banks in Canada invested $27 million into SecureKey toward launch of the new identity and authentication network. Boysen says the plan is to copy what works in payment networks and apply it to identity and access, especially since consumers are tired of user ID’s and passwords, and transition to something they understand already is crucial for adoption.
The company had a vision of consumers using secure login credentials from their bank accounts to access government services, which led to the creation of SecureKey Concierge Service for authentication five years ago.
Last October, large banks in Canada invested $27 million into SecureKey toward launch of the new identity and authentication network. Boysen says the plan is to copy what works in payment networks and apply it to identity and access.
“It’s been very successful. Canadians have come to the service with little to no advertising,” Boysen says. “For government, it’s also been transformational…We want to take it further by adding identity to it.”
The idea is to use the same methodology and processes behind the credit card payment model. One credit card can be used almost anywhere – you don’t need a card for each store you visit. As such, Boysen sees some interesting applications for identity and the use of blockchain. Take Concierge, for example, created for privacy and access.
“When people first heard this idea that they were going to use bank accounts to get to government, there were concerns,” Boysen says. “So we invented this triple blind privacy protocol to solve that problem. When I use my bank account to get to government, the bank doesn’t actually get to see my online destination. The government in its place doesn’t get to see which bank I came from, and SecureKey, who operates the network, we don’t know who you are. So none of the transaction participants got a full picture of the user journey.” He explains that the company invented triple blind authentication, and they are going to use blockchain to allow users to share information with a triple-blind identity model.
Boysen says blockchain solves the problem of fraudsters being able to copy digital information and masquerade as someone else. “Consumers will be there in a heartbeat. The bigger challenge is getting the change in the internet to happen,” Boysen says. “The change that has to occur – and we’re in this change now – is getting businesses out of the business of issuing user IDs and passwords and then into the business of accepting strong credentials that users already possess.”
Listen to more of Andre Boysen’s thoughts on blockchain and digital identity in this podcast with Regarding ID’s Gina Jordan.