Threats to Digital Identity from Within
by Hitoshi Kokumai
Expectations appear to be rising for blockchain technologies that support the schemes of ‘Self-Sovereign Identity’ and ‘Bring Your Own Identity’.
The blockchain is often compared to an unbreakable vault. Obviously a good vault needs not only a tough gate panel but a reliable lock system.
The blockchain could indeed help make the strong gate panel, but it alone could never make a substitute to the reliable lock system as discussed at https://www.bebee.com/producer/@hitoshi-kokumai/blockchain-solutions-offered-without-a-reliable-user-authentication-don-t-make-much-sense-do-they
Worryingly, it seems that the lock system to go with the blockchain as the tough gate panel is being threatened by a number of global big names. They urge us to remove the secret credentials (the likes of passwords) from digital identity ‘for achieving a higher security’ although its negative security effect is so obvious as illustrated below.
How much would you dare to deposit with the bank who only offers this dreamy ATM?
Very ironically, we are thus being forced to fight the threats that are coming from a large section of the cyber technology industry, say, from within.
By the way, we are facing several grave threats, some real and imminent, some theoretical or imaginary. At the top of the imminent threats list is probably the climate change.
We could be somewhat hopeful on this threat; thousands of professionals and politicians debating how to avert the catastrophe, millions of volunteers endeavoring to awaken the population about its gravity and billions of people already aware of this problem to some extent, say, things moving apparently in the correct direction, if not as fast as it should, despite a pocket of infamously noisy opponents and sceptics
If not an existential threat like the global warming, the subject of this article, the absence of a valid digital identity platform, could be one of the most grave threats, since it could force our descendants to experience erosions of democracy and chaotic social life, if left unsolved,
Our observations could be summarized as follows.
1. Our descendants would be deprived of the necessary level of security where the digital identity platform were built without the secret credentials made from our memory, i.e., what we remember as the likes of passwords.
2. Our descendants would experience erosions of the democracy our ancestors have won through heavy sacrifices where the secret credentials, for which our will/volition is indispensable, are removed from the digital identity platform.
On this front we are less optimistic; too few people are taking the correct course towards the correct objectives.
Too many people, with professionals, researchers, politicians and journalists included, are badly distracted and straying off the course.
We expect more and more people to be awake to this serious threat. You could hopefully be interested to join our endeavor to avert the destructive consequences.
About the Author
Hitoshi Kokumai is the inventor of Expanded Password System that enables people to make use of episodic image memoriesfor intuitive and secure identity authentication. He has kept raising the issue of wrong usage of biometrics with passwords and the false sense of security it brings for 16 years. Mnemonic Security Inc. was founded in 2001 by Hitoshi Kokumai for promoting Expanded Password System. Following the pilotscale operations in Japan, it is seeking to set up the global headquarters.