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Electronic Identity Trends will change the future

Electronic identity is always evolving as countries explore identity validation, identity verification, authentication and overall document signing. The uses electronic identity is becoming more and more popular, though it’s imperative that there is non-repudiation as it can lead to a security risk.

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By Ott Sarv

Understanding more of the top trends within electronic identity will allow your company and your people to work more efficiently now and well into the future.

SDM Magazine has been exploring secure identity trends for a while, and this includes the ability for users to choose more electronic identities in order to present their authentication. This can be the use of an ID card, mobileID, or biometric factors such as a fingerprint. This makes it easier for people to prove who they are and being able to choose the method that is the most convenient for the individual allows a significant amount of freedom. More methods will be added in coming years, as well.

Usernames and Passwords

Usernames and passwords have evolved dramatically over the past several years. The goal is to create a strong electronic identity, and whether a person is trying to log into their bank account their username, and password needs to be more comprehensive than ever before.

The problem is that the username and password duo is not secure. If you want to stop security breaches, it’s best to re-think the way you manage online identities in their entirety.

President Obama said more and more companies were using biometrics — think Apple’s Touch ID — to authenticate user identity.

Biometric Data

This includes facial patterns, voice patterns, fingerprints, and even eye retina scans. While many of these aren’t being used for online identity validation as of yet, it is becoming more common. Smartphones have already figured out how to capture fingerprints and facial patterns, and use these as a way of unlocking the phone as well as allowing people to log into their bank accounts.

The technology is not perfect. In fact, various security concerns are on the rise because databases can be hacked and therefore the information that a biometric scan is compared against can be altered. On the other hand, if your biometrical data is stolen then its a fact and you cannot change it because it is something that belongs to you.

Electronic Certificates

Electronic certificates, also known as Digital certificates are a form of cryptography that provides a PKI (Public Key Infrastructure). It ensures a person or organisation can exchange information securely across the Internet or a closed connection. It can help not only with identity validation but security as a whole.

The EU legislation itself is following all these electronic identity trends. In 2014, the eIDAS, the European Regulation Nº 910/2014, has changed the way we look into the electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market. More modifications will be applied in 2018 when mandatory mutual recognition of electronic identities will be implemented across the European Union. This is a significant tendency regarding authentication because it covers all of the various details that provide transparency and ensures accountability (<-KYC key elements). The directive includes not only authentication but also registered delivery services, timestamps, and signature seals.

Whether you are a business in the US or the UK, Electronic Trust Services (eTS) and electronic identification (eID) are vital to ensure secure cross-border electronic transactions and are crucial for succeeding in the Digital Single Market. Understanding these top trends will allow you to explore some of the tools that are available to you and make it easier to eliminate paper trails and move towards electronic data and processes.

Ott Sarv  is Electronic identity expert and founder of SignWise Services.

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