• For several years now, the EU has been working on a new model of Digital Identities that will change not only relationships between companies but also the daily lives of European citizens.
  • VALIDATED ID is a Spanish company, a pioneer in decentralized identities, which currently participates in 3 of the large pilots promoted by the EU.

But what is this new Digital Identity that the EU has already announced? Why and how will it affect our daily lives? What can it contribute to companies?

At VALIDATED ID, we will try to answer these questions, avoiding technicalities only suitable for experts. We will ignore the underlying technology, which only interests a few, and we will focus on its use and impact on our lives and businesses.

Let's start at the beginning. What is the new European Digital Identity?

To understand it without technicalities, let's think about the Wallet we all carry. In it, we keep documents and cards, which are attributes of our identity. Each of those "credentials" says something about us.

  • For example, my ID says that I am a Spanish citizen.
  • My driver's license certifies that I can drive certain types of vehicles.
  • My SES card says that I use the public health system.
  • Or I can have cards from the library in my town, the paddle tennis club or any other.

A different organization or company has issued each of those Credentials, and each one says something about me. The substantial change will be that, shortly, all these companies and organizations will give these cards in "Verifiable Credentials" format that each of us will save on our phones. To do this, we will use an application (App) certified by the EU, which everyone already knows as Wallet, but we could translate it as "Digital Card Holder".

And not only that. We will use the same Verifiable Credential format to carry academic qualifications, vaccination certificates, allergy reports, registration certificates, or others in our Wallet. All in the same format.
Will the Padel Club in my town be able to issue Verifiable Credentials in the same way as the National Police? That makes no sense!
And why not?

In the Verifiable Credentials game, there are three players:

  • The issuer, who certifies that attribute of our personality, signs it and delivers it to us. If we have to prove that we are a Spanish citizen, it will be issued by the National Police, but if we have to prove that we are members of the Padel Club, it will be issued by the Club itself.
  • The citizen, who stores the Credentials in his Wallet, decides who he wants to share them with and who he does not like to share them with.
  • The verifier, who receives the Credential and decides whether to trust the issuer or not. For example, the airline will accept my ID Credential but not my Paddle Club Credential to take a plane. Both are technically the same and accredit attributes of my personality, but the airline (verifier) decides which issuer they trust.
And what will we gain from it?
What is the difference between carrying a plastic card in your Wallet or a Verifiable Credential on your cell phone?

First of all, we should be able to identify ourselves electronically. For example, our banks will stop giving us the passwords to access their online banking. They will send us a Verifiable Credential to our mobile phone, accrediting us as their client. From that moment on, if I want to access my account, I can do so without remembering my username and password. A QR code will be displayed on the screen (just like a restaurant menu); we will focus on it with the mobile camera, choose the Credentials of that bank, and enter directly. In the same way, we will access the SES, Treasury, Social Security, or any website.

Goodbye to users and passwords! Let's remember these new Digital Identities will be mandatory throughout the EU.

Another advantage is:  Interoperability.

Companies and organizations must issue Verifiable Credentials in the same format approved by the EU. This will allow them to be interoperable.

Let's imagine that I want to take out an insurance policy. Well, we can now forget about processing useless paperwork. We can scan a QR code from the insurer and electronically send them our ID, a certificate of bank ownership, a medical report, and whatever they ask of us because we will already have them in our Wallet as Verifiable Credentials.

And another one: Cross-border use.

We are in Rome, feel bad, and go to a hospital. From there, we connect to the SES Online Health Center, download an allergy report or any clinical data, and share it with the local doctor, who can read it because it will use the same technology as the SES.

And even more: Greater security.

By now, we all know how dangerous it is for someone to get our access codes. With this new model, the passwords disappear, and they will only be able to impersonate us if they manage to steal and access our mobile phones, which is extraordinarily difficult if we have them biometrically protected.

In addition, they can access our passwords without us knowing, but if our cell phone is stolen, we will find out, and we will be able to notify them so that they can revoke our Credentials quickly.

All this….
Isn't it one more step towards losing privacy and greater state control?

At Validated ID we think the opposite. Let us not forget that we are talking about what is known as “Self-sovereign identity” ( Self-sovereign identity in English) and that its fundamental objective is to ensure that the citizen is genuinely sovereign over their identity.

  • The citizen, and only he, decides which Credential to apply for and to whom.
  • The citizen, and no one else, receives the Credential and stores it under their exclusive control.
  • And it is the citizen, and only he, who decides with whom to share his Credentials and with whom not.

Our data must stop being currency between organizations that share it.

With this new model, all the information passes through our hands, without being shared with anyone else, unless we do it.

We offer an advanced SSI-based platform that quickly verifies and manages digital credentials while embracing privacy is a challenging task; it requires a lot of work, years of preparation, and a talented young team with experience in this very new and cutting-edge sector. At Validated ID, we can help you embark on the Self-sovereign identity (SSI) world by adopting Decentralized and Self-Managed Identity, Verifiable Credentials, and Digital Attribute Attestations. Our team will help you with the roadmap to design and build the type of credentials, the issuance method, and the authentication process you need. Contact Us.

Juan Pablo de la Fuente