Updated: Feb 20, 2021
Self-sovereign identity (SSI) is a concept in the digital movement that only the user should own their identity data fully without intervention from outside administration. The concept of self-sovereign identity (SSI) has been gaining significant traction since the mid 2010s. Private-by-design, immutable, and fully secure, self-sovereign identity solutions promised to “place the digital ID back into the user’s wallet” and reduce the compliance and data storage burden for businesses.
An array of early cross-industry pilots in banking, e-commerce, and government services have already proven that blockchain-based SSIs can be a viable solution to eliminating third-party ‘verifiers’ from data exchanges.
Why Pursuing SSI Can Be Game-Changing for Businesses
Privacy invasion and data leakage have been eroding consumer trust and satisfaction with businesses. Indeed, a lot of corporations have been treating customer data security as an afterthought. In 2020, Gartner estimated, for 70% of organizations the backups and archrivals of personal data will be the largest area of privacy risk, up from 10% in 2018.
Global regulators also recognize that such a state of affairs is risky, to say the least. GDPR in Europe and CPA in the US were the early regulatory measures with new privacy and data protection laws are underway in 60 more jurisdictions. By 2023, as much as 65% of the global population can have its personal data protected by new privacy regulations.
Self-sovereign identities can become the businesses leeway into respecting customer privacy demands and regulatory requirements. At the same time, letting go of customers’ data and entrusting it to a decentralized blockchain-based ledger can also help businesses reduce data storage/management costs, neutralize cybersecurity risks and stay on the right side of compliance requirements.
There are many companies providing SSI wallets, we would like to mention an organization that is helping business and governments with SSI. The Sovrin Foundation is a nonprofit organization was established to administer the Governance Framework governing the Sovrin Network, a decentralized global public network enabling self-sovereign identity on the internet. The Sovrin Network is an open source project operated by independent Stewards and uses the power of a distributed ledger to give every person, organization, and thing the ability to own and control their own permanent digital identity.