Spanish firms join to promote digital identity using blockchain

05/11/20

Ten leading Spanish companies are working together to develop a self-managed digital identity model with blockchain technology, which will bring Spain to the fore in this kind of development. 

The project, including Banco Santander, Bankia, BME, CaixaBank, Inetum, Liberbank, Línea Directa Aseguradora, Mapfre, Naturgy and Repsol, and also the Alastria consortium, will give users control over their personal data, making digital identity self-managed by each person in a secure and reliable manner a reality.

Self-managed identity enables people to have their personal data in a single digital identity, backed by the companies involved and stored on their own mobile device. Users may decide who to share the data with at any time in a fast, simple, secure process, in order to take up any service with no need to fill in tedious forms. For example, they may use their data validated by other organisations to hire a car, take out insurance, arrange a loan, take up an electricity service, or any service they wish, in just a few clicks.

Creation of a self-managed digital identity furnishes the certainty that information is reliable and has not been altered, thanks to blockchain technology. The challenge is to ensure that it has legal effects which are equivalent to the most advanced data validation and authentication processes available today.
 

New business models, greater efficiency and more benefits

This development will give the participating companies greater efficiency and improvements in various processes, such as registration of users. Also, in a bid to pass on their innovative capacity to people's lives, the project will enable participating companies to design new business models (individual and/or collective) to improve the user experience on the basis of the potential of self-managed digital identity.

During the concept test, now complete, the organisations found that the solution works satisfactorily. The second phase of the project will kick off in November. This aims to complete development within the next six months, in order to roll out this solution in a real production environment in May 2021. The companies participating in this concept test see great potential for all sectors.

At the present time, the demos function on one of the Alastria consortium's blockchain infrastructures (Ethereum-Quorum). This is a pioneer development in the use of the open-code libraries developed by the Alastria Identity Committee. In the months ahead work will also be carried out on other aspects of technical implementation and use cases.

The project undertaken by these companies is a technological challenge that will bring Spain to the fore in terms of blockchain and identity management, a basic issue in digital environments for both users and businesses. The solution will also help fight attempted fraud and identity theft with greater efficiency.   
 

Alastria ID, the basis of the initiative

This project is based on the Alastria digital identity model (Alastria ID). The company is the first multisector consortium, composed of 600 partners including large companies, SMEs, public authorities and academic institutions, which aims to establish a public permission-based blockchain infrastructure, designed pursuant to Spanish and EU regulations. 

Alastria ID has come about thanks to the cooperation of more than 100 members of this consortium, not only in terms of technical aspects and security, but also in legal terms, because Alastria brings leading digital technology lawyers into the design, to take account of all major regulatory aspects, particularly those concerning the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

Since the first phase of the Dalion project kicked off in October 2019, this model has been analysed from a number of different perspectives (business, security, technology, legal issues, user experience etc.), and the necessary software components have been developed to enable organisations to offer the utilisation of self-managed identity in their business applications.

The ten companies involved in the Dalion project have built a solution that can guarantee the integrity and quality of data, preventing any duplication and errors, protect user privacy because no personal data are stored in the blockchain network or in a centralised format, and prevent any traceability of the data subject's activity on the network. The project includes observers from public authorities such as Alcobendas Town Hall and the University of Zaragoza, among others.

The Dalion project seeks to improve upon traditional Single Sign-on (SSO) solutions such as Google or Facebook, on the main premise that digital identity, composed of multiple attributes (credentials), is certified and validated by the issuers of the credentials. This means a single solution may be used to take up any kind of service on internet securely, a process which previously required specific complex mechanisms by each company or a physical presence. 

The Alastria ID identity model has been presented to the Spanish Standardisation Association (UNE), and is moving forward from a "de facto" standard to a formal standard, and has also been submitted to other international standardisation bodies such as CEN/CENELEC, UNE's European counterpart, and has also served as inspiration for the European Commission's self-sovereign identity initiative, ESSIF. 

Subscribe to our free newsletter
Follow us on Twitter
Join us on LinkedIn

Latest Features & Interviews

Entrust on the importance of identity

Angus McDougall, Entrust regional vice president, Asia Pacific & Japan, took time out to speak to Security Document World about the company’s new identity, ahead of the groundbreaking virtual event, Identity Week Asia 2020.

White Paper: Secunet on kiosk systems in border control

Why do kiosks play a key role in the launch of the European Entry/Exit System? A new whitepaper summarises the key advantages and long-term benefits that arise for border control and the authorities tasked with border control operations through the use of kiosks.

Interview: Experian on biometrics and digital ID

In this interview, Planet Biometrics caught up with Mike Gross, Head of Global Fraud & ID Production Innovation at Experian, to hear his views on the evolution of identity in 2020 and beyond.

More articles >>
Share |

connect:ID 2021 Event supported by Planet Biometrics 17-18 Mar 21