Episode 35 Decentralized Identity, Verifiable Credentials and the Future of Privacy

Tech Uncensored - An Altitude Accelerator Podcast

Nov 4 2023 • 33 mins

In a digital environment rampant with adoption of emerging artificial intelligence technologies, data continues to drive considerable value. The risk to confidential and personal information continues to be an ongoing threat.

Enter decentralized identity, an emerging paradigm of digital identity that champions the principles such as individuals having control over their own information and being able to selectively share them with others as needed. Verifiable Credentials, a rising standard and enabler of decentralized identity, are gaining adoption by public and private sectors across the world, including the European Union.

Verifiable credentials are a type of digital credential protected by modern cryptography. They contain digital representation of information or attributes about an individual, organization, or thing. These include educational degrees, digital driver’s licenses, employment records or certifications. These credentials can be shared across various services to streamline processes that require proof of identity or qualification while still maintaining the privacy and security of that information.

Verifiable Credentials are designed to provide a secure and tamper-resistant way of verifying and sharing personal or organizational data. Together with other decentralized identity technology, Verifiable Credentials are enabling our systems to allow individual data control, and to increase trust by reducing reliance on central authorities. What does this mean to the future of data privacy?

We welcomed Lucy Yang, Managing Partner of Identity Woman in Business. Lucy has been working in the decentralized identity space for 4 years and was also Community Director and Committee Chair of the Covid Credentials Initiative, which sought to address privacy issues and concerns of sharing COVID and health information through verifiable credentials. We discussed the principles of decentralized identity and how a community has evolved them into new infrastructures to solve today’s data privacy issues and how this will interplay with the rampant development of Generative AI.