Decentralized Identity Will Drive the White House National Cybersecurity Strategy: Hyperledger Foundation

Apr 7, 2023 | Privacy & Security

As soon as the Biden administration released its new National Cybersecurity Strategy on March 1, the Hyperledger Foundation responded with this truth bomb: Open source decentralized identity technology will not only achieve the strategy’s goals, it’s available right now.

It’s an opinion we wholeheartedly applaud.

The National Cybersecurity Strategy centres on this theme: “We must ensure the Internet remains open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure — anchored in universal values that respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

In a statement responding to the strategy, Heather Dahl, Hyperledger Foundation governing board member and Indicio CEO, pointed out that the problems the strategy is addressing don’t require a “moonshot to solve” because they have been “a central concern among open-source technology communities like those at the Hyperledger Foundation for many years. And they—we—have found solutions.”

Ms Dahl explained:

“Decentralized identity has provided a way to provide a verification layer for digital interaction; we have ways to prove who we are and know who we are interacting with; we have ways for people to hold their data and share it in a way that preserves their privacy.

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of the next point: These aren’t paper solutions or future ware; industries are leading the adoption of this technology. The prospect of secure, seamless travel—which would take a passenger from online check in to boarding, through border control, and all the way to unlocking their hotel room—is driving the creation of a verifiable digital travel credential.”

Ms Dahl drew on examples in decentralized identity applications from Indicio, the company she heads up, which span “everything from employee identification to auditing devices monitoring emissions to tracking supply chains. We’ve used Hyperledger Foundation technologies to develop verifiable credentials that manage financial transactions, from passwordless proof of account ownership to reusable KYC.”

Importantly, Ms Dahl said the solutions are ready and universally available: “The future is happening now. And because so much of this work has been built on open source codebases (meaning many developers, companies, and even governments passionate about the technology have contributed code), the future is available to everyone.”

Ms Dahl specifically called out Strategic Objective 4.5 of the National Cybersecurity Strategy, in which the White House notes “the human cost of inaction and inertia” as being data breaches that affected nearly 300 million people in 2021 alone and which stem from the lack of secure digital identity. 

She welcomes the Federal Government’s desire to “encourage and enable investments in strong, verifiable digital identity solutions that promote security, accessibility and interoperability, financial and social inclusion, consumer privacy, and economic growth,” saying: 

“One of the remarkable things we have seen with open source verifiable digital identity is that it has been embraced by businesses and governments alike: everyone who sees the technology in action immediately sees how it is the building block for digital transformation: a way to upgrade web2 and tangible infrastructure for creating web3. With verifiable credentials, anything can be given an identity and that identity and the data associated with it can be verified seamlessly. Decentralized Ecosystem Governance — a machine-readable way of managing roles, rules, and trust within a verifiable identity ecosystem — solves the problem of governance, elegantly.

The ability to implement seamless verification transforms every aspect of digital interaction. If you can trust the data, you can devise processes, products, and services that are frictionless and trustworthy, whether it be proving you own a bank account or want to share your health records or cross a border. Again, this is already happening.”

Read Anonyome Labs’ co-CEO Dr Paul Ashley’s explanation of why verifiable credentials are the “killer feature of DI.”

The Hyperledger Foundation is a global collaboration, hosted by The Linux Foundation. Anonyome Labs is an active member of the Hyperledger Foundation and has been contributing source code back to the decentralized identity open source community for some time. Hyperledger hosts the decentralized identity based Hyperledger Indy, Aries and Ursa projects and Anonyome Labs contributes to the Aries Cloud Agent (ACA-PY) and aries-vcx projects. 

See all the additional ways Anonyome Labs actively contributes to decentralized identity development.

Clearly, we agree with Ms Dahl’s commentary on the new national cybersecurity strategy finding its legs in decentralized identity, so we’ll leave you with her final quote: “As the White House and the Federal Government move forward, we hope they will recognize the enormous progress that has been made, that the moonshot worked, and now we’re ready for the stars.”

If you’d like to join us in the stars, check out how your enterprise can use our APIs to power next-generation customer apps with privacy, cyber safety and decentralized identity capabilities. Move from Web2 to Web3 with an all-in-one cloud-first privacy platform that puts your customers in control of their own personal data. Explore our Sudo Platform today.

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