Anniversary Blog from Miicard founder James Vargas:
“Since its inception the internet has suffered from a fundamental disadvantage – trust. Coined in the New Yorker on July 5th 1993…yes now 20 years ago… is the phrase ‘on the internet nobody knows you’re a dog‘. Yes that’s right it has been 20 years and yet we still haven’t as an industry solved the problem. But things are changing and we are seeing a definite increase in the activity in and around this area. miiCard continues to be featured in the media, our weekly Google Alerts keep increasing and we were even featured next to PayPal in a Payments Source (you can download it from here) article recently.
Adoption of two step verification in mainstream services such as Twitter, Google, Facebook and even our friends at Mailchimp adopting Yubikey’s (also supported by miiCard so get yourself one) is a clear signal change is afoot. Activity within the Open Identity Exchange (OIX) and the UK’s ID Assurance continues to grow and we are involved with the GSMA in a couple of pilot projects. In the US, National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) continues to pick up steam and TDL (Trust in Digital Life), in Europe, is making great progress with the European Commission on the upcoming Data Protection and Cyber Security changes coming to the market.
I’ve taken a personal role in this regard, helping to organise a series of Pilot projects and if you’re interested I would encourage you to please get involved. With increased activity and further pressure from the industry (Identity is now responsible for 53% of the fraud in the UK, and 51% in the US) now is the time to start thinking about Federated Identity Services/Identity as a Service (IDaaS), stronger authentication, supporting Trust Frameworks and a personal passion of mine – Bring Your Own Identity (BYOiD).
One of the biggest trends is around Trust Frameworks as we look to streamline the ‘trust’ process and agree to common principles. There has been a lot of work in this area with some exciting developments coming out of OIX and further adoption of the Respect Network trust framework – something we ourselves are big supporters of. I would encourage you to look at this and support their efforts where possible. It’s only by working together that we will truly start to solve these issues and give consumers the control, the convenience and the security they deserve and are starting to demand. This is evident in the PRISM scandal and as an industry as a whole.
At miiCard we have started to see a ‘Trust Ecosystem’ build up around our own verified identities which is hugely exciting. To see in practice what we in as an industry still only talk about: the adoption of a consumer centric approach to identity, supported by common trust frameworks which provide incremental value to those involved.
In addition to our technical partners offering a rich set of authentication services (Yubikey and Toopher are fantastic services if you don’t already use them) we also have voice biometric, location and some really cool stuff coming soon and we are now seeing a range of other data partners working together. In a distributed approach with trusted identities at its core, we are seeing the power of BYOiD connecting our members with a huge range of data: Veritas Vitae provide verified qualifications for pre-employment screening, and CallCredit Group data which is now being expanded to include personality profiling for contextual advertising as cookies become limited (i.e. the Do Not Track by default trend); the connection of company and company director information to link individuals to the business; Social account history and from ourselves also providing Certified Bank Statements, True Age Verification and other financial profile information that our members, with their consent, can share with others. This ecosystem is even extending into different uses beyond identity and personal information to include more complete business processes such as electronic signatures. By combining an existing electronic signature platform with verified identities and strong authentication we are able to ask you to agree to something – knowing ‘you are who you say you are’ and ‘it’s you agreeing it’ so that we can do more of the important and high value things online.
This isn’t just about data consolidation – it’s about the ecosystem. Working in a distributed approach to bring together a set of services, with the consumer at its core, enables and empowers the consumer. When we do this – we benefit as an industry on all accounts from reduced fraud, single customer view, to rich consumer data and reduced friction.
And this is really what it’s all about. Not just doing more of what we do today – but working together so that we can do more online. I would love to hear your thoughts on how we can develop/build/continue to grow the ecosystem to change the way we work online, or what you think it needs to ‘do’, ‘have’ or ‘be’ to succeed.
The team at miiCard has been working hard (as recently recognised in our winning for the second year the ScotlandIS Innovation in Financial Services award) to help bring trust online. If you haven’t already signed up we would love to see you signup to become a member and would love any feedback you had on the experience. We constantly iterate to provide the absolutely best service we can.
As our own example of the impact of Trusted Identities I would also like to share a customer case study with Tradehill (you can download it from here), which we feel is a great example of our IDaaS can make a difference and such a fundamental impact in a business. Tradehill is also a great reflection of the developments we have made in miiCard by starting integration on a Friday afternoon, testing on a Monday and launching on a Tuesday to gain immediate benefits.
For sites like online dating and social networking and those involved in the sharing economy, the use of miiCard is free for the site. If you know of anyone, or have an interest yourself, please do let me know. We have been making a number of changes to the site (www.miicard.com) and I would love your feedback if you had a few minutes to take a look.
With so much going on it’s sometimes difficult to keep in touch but I wanted to take this opportunity to share my own perspective and get your thoughts or feedback during these exciting times. So I’ll leave you with one question – do you think having trust in the Internet would make a difference for you?”
Thanks to James Vargas and MiiCard