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Misinformation is King !

In the current world misinformation is king. Whilst there is a measure of gullibility assumed, there is no shortage of that, added together with a willingness to believe.

So what relevance is this to the world of identity and digital wallets? The link is that the single most dangerous point of failure is that of PIDs – Personal Identifiers. Once established in a wallet, they offer unlimited and often unidentifiable fraud opportunities. Remember, the whole idea of digital wallets is that the use of credentials is generally NOT traceable by the issuers.

So how can these fraudulent class of identities – ‘Deep Fakes’ - be established and embedded in wallets or elsewhere? Its increasingly to do with on-boarding, and the amount of effort you wish to make to construct false identities. ‘AI for Lazy People’ (cheap and poor training) makes it even easier.

The worst-case scenario is when there are very large numbers of low assurance identities being referenced and assessed by poorly trained AIs giving the impression of legitimate activity across society when in fact it is exactly the opposite. It may seem naïve, but nonetheless it can work if the AIs are not able to distinguish truth from fiction…..and so Deep Fakes are born.

This sloppy use of AI is not as far-fetched as one would imagine, even at the end of 2023! I did hear briefly that a prominent UK news channel wanted to use AI to check if its news reports were real or fake news! I have not heard that repeated by the news channel. I guess somebody with common sense highlighted the issue quickly to the non-techies.

So, it looks like ‘Trust Anchors’ are going to be needed more and more. One of the best trust anchors is the eIDAS compliant digital national identity. They are legally upheld identities and are considered high assurance. Their trust can be still be increased even more by utilizing other checks which could be implemented if specific applications require additional assurance.

Lower assurance (Substantial) will no doubt be required as well. We have over 4 million asylum seekers in Europe according to Eurostat. They currently would not have an EU citizenship and not have a ‘high’ assurance identity credential as an anchor, which is needed in order for them to utilize the digital identity wallet and become more integrated into wider European society. This difference in assurance must be incorporated. The assurance levels need to have a step-up, but ‘how?’ is the real question.

Remember many are awaiting citizenship precisely because their identity cannot be verified with their home countries.

Not easy.


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