GBA Ethics Office Hot Topics Series- Self-Sovereign Identity Challenges and Opportunities.

This article covers several highly complex issues related to identity and illustrates how a hybrid biometrics-blockchain technology approach could solve some of the global challenges caused by a significant financial divide.

The author highlights the opportunities we have as a society to redesign identity management systems in order to facilitate global financial and social inclusion. However, there are several significant barriers that will have to be overcome and complex ethical isssues such as trust, consent, transparency and privacy will have to be taken into consideration by all stakeholders when deploying these technologies. Additional key principles underpinning self-souvereign identity such as existence, control, access, persistence, portability, interoperability, minimization and protection will have to also be proactively addressed.

As with all emerging technologies, each deployment carries unique challenges and risks. However a hybrid deployment such as the one of biometrics and blockchain technology would amplify the ethical  aspects that will need be adequately addressed in order to be successful.

The article emphasizes how inclusion and access to essential services such as healthcare and education, electoral rights, financial services and social safety net programs could all be optimized. Furthermore, the author describes the more effective and efficient administration of public services that could be attained by reducing duplication and waste.

In an idealized scenario all these pitfalls could be proactively addressed and we could benefit from a redefined global, digital and self-sovereign identity ecosystem.


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