Microsoft and Accenture are teaming up to build a digital identification network using blockchain technology. The project is backed by the United Nations and will provide legal identification to 1.1 billion people worldwide without official documentation, and will also be available to everyone else too.
The two companies showed off a prototype implementation of their network at the UN headquarters on Monday at ID2020, which is a forum for public and private entities to attend to promote the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
David Treat, a managing director at Accenture, said:
“Without an identity, you can’t access education, financial services, healthcare, you name it. You are disenfranchised and marginalised from society. Having a digital identity is a basic human right.”
The new platform will join records from private and public entities through the blockchain network. This will allow people to access their records from anywhere on the planet even if they’ve lost physical copies of their identity documents, making it suited to the needs of refugees who are often forced to leave their homes with nothing.
Microsoft and Accenture have invited other companies to join their project and help develop their system. The goals of the ID2020 project are as follows: by 2020, technical proof of concept will be reached and those involved will be evaluating multiple avenues to scale; and by 2030, every person on the planet should have access to a digital identity.