Digital Twin & Blockchain


Gary Schwartz keynotes on the evolving way identity and PII (Personally Identifiable Information) are managed in a world post-GDPR, post-Facebook debacle. What are the innovative ways that the blockchain can solve for efficiencies and sovereign control.

Over the past 25 years, Gary has played a leadership role in the high-tech industry founding, investing and managing a number of companies in the health, marketing, social media, blockchain and financial sectors. He is managing director of Pegasus Fintech, a global ICO accelerator. Gary keynotes globally on blockchain application development and security token-based capital formation. He runs token solutions for cities, multinationals and variety of pubic dAAPS.More

Gary, as digital entrepreneur how has digital identity and management of Personal Identifiable Information changed over the past 20 years?
Since the advent of the Internet we have grappled with our digital twin. As the Internet become mainstream in the 1990s, we had tactical challenges to optimize login process and authentication. Remember the Microsoft’s unified online identity passport — Identity v.1.0
As social networks emerged we created proxies of our entire world - accurate or aspirational. Facebook Login, for example, was used billions of times a year to log consumers in and out of third party websites and mobile apps leaving digital residue all over the web.
This has been a recent cocktail party topic with Zuckerberg Washington trip to Congress. Federal Trade Commission rules state that “access to and disclosure of PII ... must be strictly limited to individuals with an official need to know.” - however in many cases this is difficult to police.
That is interesting! If you see Personal Identifiable Information as a historic topic, can you explain further on the steps that lead to the present debate on privacy and sovereign identity?
I believe some people would agree with that we should be the sovereign of our own data but the question is what is the best way for us to consume the data.
What are your thoughts on this? Will Blockchain play a role here of improve our consumption of personal information or manage our identity?
When you are on holiday you leave your passport in the safe in the room and walk around with a bank card with is tied to your ID. When you tap your card, you are not asked for your ID as you can verify it is you by entering a PIN.
This is church and state of identification. We do not need to show all our PII if we are simply asked for a specific piece of info.
There are many solutions for PII and KYC on the blockchain but many solution either try and put your ID on the chain (which makes no sense) or allows you to control a sovereign ID wallet that 3rd parties to access to verify you.
While the latter is a good idea, it is too much work for the consumer. I need to manage my private key - if I lose this key - I lose access to this sovereign ID. My sovereign ID no longer has a sovereign: a fiefdom with no lord ...
David Birch talks about the “pseudonymity of identification”. He is always entertaining and insightful. I believe that the blockchain can be a wonderful pseudonymous repository of identification.
The trick is to see on-chain as being a simple registry of lists which has a “pass or fail” function that a 3rd party can ping.
Are you over 21 or under 21? Prove it and you can enter this club. I now only need to have a pseudonymous marker on the blockchain that indicates if I am over or under 21 and I need to prove that I am connected to this record.
This is no different to a credit card and a PIN.
The user can control a sovereign ID off-chain that is pseudonymously linked to a record on-chain. The 3rd party has no access to the original documents (passport, drivers license, diploma, health records, etc.)
However, they are immutably tied. If the owner of the ID, changes or deletes their ID, then the marker is also changed or deleted.
See below illustration. Identification is verified by a source-of-truth (government body, etc.) and turned into whitelisted registries with specific pass or fail markers on the blockchain.
Then a third party can ping this registry when you wish to enter into a transaction (buy a security, drink a beer, etc.) in order to validate that you are either a pass or a fail (KYCed or over 21). This is all pseudonymous with no PII floating about in the ether.
Here is an example blockchain verification solution that we launched last month called CryptoKABN.
If you are a member of this panel, please sign in to contribute.