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How Blockchain Could Replace Social Security Numbers

CyberWisdom Safe Harbor Commentary:

One thing has become clear when Equifax is offended and the countless others endanger the privacy of Americans: it is time to get out of social security numbers. But the natural follow-up question – “What is the alternative?” Is where things get complicated. We can have a digital national ID card system like Estonia, but this proves to have its own security problems. We can use biometrics to verify identity, using retinal scanning or facial recognition software, but these systems are not foolproof.

So blockchain it? Is it possible that this new safe Harbor cyber technology will replace Social Security numbers one day?

The best answer we have right now is: Maybe. The blockchain is the technology behind encrypted public ledgers that stores data that can not be deleted or changed without leaving a record. It’s really good at controlling information and avoiding duplication, which is an interesting solution to managing identities. But this is not a torn replacement for the social security number. Blockchain was one of the most complex and bulky technologies I’ve ever seen in my 20 years of career in the technology industry so much work must be done before we can become a viable pillar of identity management.

In order for the blockchain to be ready, cooperation between the private and public sectors will be crucial. The Jasper project, a good example of this type of work done over the last two years by the private sector and the Canadian Central Bank and payment system operator, is a blueprint for the United States to follow if we want to see the blockchain Feasible Social Security number replacement.

Looking ahead, before we look at it as a universal identifier, we must first address the three most pressing blockchain issues.

Commentary: How Blockchain Could Replace Social Security Numbers

http://fortune.com/2018/01/11/blockchain-technology-social-security-number-cybersecurity-identity-theft/In the wake of the Equifax breach and countless others compromising Americans’ privacy, one thing has become clear: It’s time to get rid of Social Security numbers. While a string of digits on a paper card did the job in the 1930s, and got the government’s stamp of approval for identification purposes in 1972, it’s irresponsible for those nine numbers to continue to be the universal identifier for every part of our lives. We can do better; even the White House says so. The best answer we have right now is: possibly. Blockchain is the technology behind encrypted, public ledgers for storing data that cannot be erased or changed without leaving a record. It is really good at controlling information and avoiding duplication, which makes it an interesting solution for governing identities. But it’s not a rip and replace for Social Security numbers. In my 20-year career in the technology industry, blockchain is one of the most intricate and unwieldy technologies I’ve seen, so a lot of work must be done to make it a workable backbone for identity management. To get blockchain ready for primetime, collaboration between the private and public sectors will be critical. Project Jasper, a joint… Commentary: How Blockchain Could Replace Social Security Numbers

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