One of the many great things about living in the Digital Age is the ease with which most information can be acquired. Unfortunately, there is also a downside to having so much data readily available.
As we’ve seen in recent months, companies like social media giant Facebook have been able to share user’s information without their knowledge or consent. Fortunately, through the use of blockchain technology, company’s like Attest are working to help folks keep their information and identities secure.
Attest is a Chicago-based group founded by Jennifer O’Rourke and Cab Morris
Jennifer O’Rourke is a University of London grad who is no stranger to the blockchain space. She previously served as the Illinois Blockchain Business Liaison – where she worked to promote the use of distributed ledger tech throughout the “Prairie State.” O’Rourke co-founded Attest and is the company’s current president.
Her fellow co-founder Cab Morris is a Dartmouth University alum, who is a major player in the blockchain community. Morris was the Deputy Director of Strategy and Operational Performance for the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional (IDRF). During his tenure with the IDRF, he played a major role in establishing Illinois as a leader in the public sector blockchain market. Cab Morris now serves as Attest’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
The two blockchain gurus have joined forces to create a platform that allows users to secure personal data and also simplify digital identity.
Their current product line includes the Attest Wallet and a solution known as the Attest Enterprise.
A Wallet that Stores your Digital Identity
The Attest Wallet operates in a manner similar to your standard cryptocurrency wallet. However, instead of storing digital tokens, the Attest Wallet lets users store their digital identity. This cryptographically secured storage unit was created to give people the ability to control who sees their information and who can potentially profit from sharing it.
There are several advantages to using decentralized identity storage devices like the Attest Wallet. For instance, it’s much easier for someone to forge documents like passports and drivers licenses than the cryptographic signatures used by Attest.
Moreover, since this new wallet is decentralized, it can potentially protect companies from massive data hacks. For example, if a large business where to store all of their employee’s vital information on a central database, a hacker would only need to gain access to said database, in order to obtain the entire staff’s info. If the same company would, instead, opt to use a decentralized data wallet, a hacker would need to target each employee individually – a feat that would be far more complicated and time-consuming.
Attest also offers organizations a powerful authentication, authorization, and user management tool. This tool is known as Attest Enterprise. Through the use of two application programming interfaces (APIs), Enterprise allows folks to do things like verify their data and give consent that allows other parties to use data on their behalf.
Partnership with Deloitte
This past November, Attest made headlines when it was announced they would be teaming up with Deloitte. For those unfamiliar, Deloitte is the largest professional service network in the world. Their wheelhouse includes consulting, enterprise risk, and a variety of other financial advisory services. They bring in more revenue and have more employees (around 286,200) than any other accounting organization in the game.
Deloitte and Attest will be working together to create a blockchain-based digital identity system. Specifically, they will be developing government-compliant identifiers, which can be used, by Deloitte’s clients, which will work in conjunction with the products like the Attest Wallet. According to Cointelegraph, “the Attest wallet will reportedly enable users to store digital versions of government and business IDs in one place and control access to stored information.”
As CEO Cab Morris told Forbes,
“ I wouldn’t say it’s a replacement but a truly digital version of your social security card, your driver’s license, your health records. But one that allows you to cryptographically authenticate to a variety of different service providers in a way that you would typically with Facebook Connect or Google Sign-in.”
Thanks to blockchain-based organizations like Attest, both individuals and business alike now have new ways to safeguard their personal information. In an era where protecting one’s identity is more difficult than ever, Attest is providing some innovative new weapons to help keep personal data secure.