Microsoft, Accenture create blockchain-based ID system

Isaac Cain
June 20, 2017

In a statement, the company said blockchain and biometric technologies to support ID2020, a programme it describes as a global public-private partnership dedicated to solving the challenges of identity faced by more than 1.1 billion people around the world.

Unveiled at the second summit of ID2020, a consortium promoting the United Nation's 2030 goal of providing legal ID for everyone, the prototype combines blockchain technology with biometric information such as fingerprints and retina scans in order to create a legal identity. The project aims to help all undocumented people like refugees to get hold of an ID that will help gain access to basic services such as education and healthcare.

"Establishing identity is critical to accessing a wide range of activities, including education, healthcare, voting, banking, mobile communications, housing, and family and childcare benefits". You are disenfranchised and marginalized from society. What Treat did not mention is that private services can always be accessed with payment, and his quote only applies to taxpayer funded services. Blockchain was originally used as a public ledger to track all bitcoin transactions. Ultimately, the technology will continue to erode what is left of privacy.

The prototype runs on Microsoft Azure, and does not store any personally-identifiable information - instead tapping into existing "off-chain" systems when the individual user grants access.

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That means a person coming from a war-torn country won't have to worry if they leave any important documents behind because it can be accessed through the blockchain system.

The prototype is framed around an existing Accenture network, which underpins the biometric identity management system that is now deployed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The Microsoft/Accenture prototype was developed atop a platform that had initially been built by Accenture. A prototype of the system was unveiled at a recent summit of ID2020 in NY with the stated aim of establishing identity for the one-sixth of the world's population who can not participate in cultural, political, economic and social life because they lack documented proof of their existence. Besides Microsoft and Accenture, Avanade Inc, a managed service provider, also collaborated on developing the prototype.

On Monday shares of Microsoft Corporation rose by 1.24% to close the day at $70.87.

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