Study in Progress
Consumers have, in the last few years, become much more concerned about their privacy. Following incidents like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, there is a growing emphasis on protecting user data.
One of the tools being considered to achieve this goal is blockchain technology and SoftBank, a Japanese multinational holding conglomerate, will be leading an identification study group in partnership with TBCASoft, a blockchain firm. The study will be carried out under the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG) and was announced on February 26, 2019.
In the press release, the duo also revealed that the study would make use of a blockchain-based identification system developed by TBCASoft.
“TBCASoft created a new foundation application framework called Cross-Carrier Identification System (CCIS) that will focus on enabling identification and authentication services. SoftBank and TBCASoft are leading this Working Group under the CBSG Consortium and will collaborate with CBSG Consortium members around the world,” the release said.
A Broken System
The need for this study was facilitated by the flaws that exist in the current identification system. According to the press release, the current system is prone to domination by minority groups due to being centralized, and this leaves the users of such systems at the mercy of the operators. Also, it was discovered that users disclose their personal information through different networks and as such, double-reporting is rampant.
By switching to the CCIS Network, both parties benefit. Because CCIS uses zero-knowledge proofs and blockchain technologies, users can give their responses without having to disclose certain private pieces of information. They also do not need to open multiple accounts and remember multiple passwords.
The SoftBank team has expressed optimism at the potential results of the test. Takeshi Fukuizumi, VP of SoftBank said:
“We envision that individuals should create encrypted digital identities, instead of using and storing multiple usernames and passwords on databases here and there with various qualities of privacy protection. We have been working with TBCASoft on solving identification and authentication problems, and have an answer with CCIS. We believe that telecom operators under the CBSG Consortium will play very important roles in the global identity business.”
The verifying and storing of identification data is one of the more underrated but still useful applications of blockchain technology.