MasterCard has published a new paper in an effort to build a more consumer-friendly understanding of digital identity. Restoring Trust in a Digital World argues that digital autonomy is a fundamental human right, and seeks to give people more control over their identities based on a set of principles that prioritizes transparency, security, privacy, inclusion, and consent.
“How do you trust someone you don’t know, can’t see and isn’t present in person?” asked Ajay Bhalla, MasterCard’s President of Cyber & Intelligence Solutions, in a statement announcing the report. “We imagine a world where a person’s identity can be verified immediately, safely and securely, where access is gained without passwords and data is exchanged only with consent.”
MasterCard’s report goes on to suggest that biometric identification will be an essential part of that solution. The paper highlights some of the many problems with contemporary verification systems, including the vulnerability and inconvenience of passwords, which only increase a person’s exposure when they get used across a number of different platforms.
Biometric data, on the other hand, is both safe and reusable. It’s also more inclusive, because everyone possesses unique biometric markers that can be used to construct a digital identity.
MasterCard has been a key player in the biometric card space thanks to partnerships with companies like IDEX and IDEMIA, and is currently working on a new digital identity service in collaboration with Microsoft. That service will ultimately help MasterCard to realize its principles and could help establish a set of rules and best practices for digital identity providers.
April 2, 2019 – by Eric Weiss