The internet is less than twenty years old, but its rise has engendered an unbridled growth of the amount of data. The chances of total data chaos are very much evident. After all: consumer data is being stored in all corners of the internet, while those consumers have no idea what data is actually stored and what happens to it. An additional factor playing a role is that in May next year, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enters into force. That is quite a mouth full. What it amounts to, is that consumers are given control over their own data. “And it is certain that the business community is insufficiently aware of that”, says Marcel Wendt, CTO and founder of Digidentity. “Businesses and web shops that fail to prepare for GDPR could end up with serious problems. Among other things, the new regulation prescribes that businesses and web shops are to handle the consumer's identity with great care. For instance, it is no longer possible to end customers unsolicited e-mails. Anyone who fails to comply with the rules, runs the risk of being fined up to 20 million euros.”
Deciding for yourself who can access your data under what conditions
Digidentity sets out to give the right to digital self-determination back to the users. That may sound a bit complex, but what it comes down to in practice is that there is a kind of digital safe that securely stores personal data. Anyone who wants to use his or her digital identity, for instance to take out an insurance or apply for a building permit, can open that safe. This is simply done by scanning a QR code, following which you receive a (push) message on your smartphone. So, no more hassle with passwords. The system has been secured in such a way that even Digidentity staff cannot access your digital identity inside the safe.
Secure and reliable for both parties
Marcel Wendt: “The must be a 100-percent security and reliability on both sides. The providing party, such as an insurer, the Dutch Tax Authorities or the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, wants to be certain that you are who you say you are. And the user wants a 100-percent guarantee that his personal data is in safe hands. It's our job to guard that process.” That is why ballots take place on both sides. The providing party goes through a process to prove it can sufficiently protect this personal data. And consumers or businesses that want to purchase a service, must at one point present identity evidence. To this end, they need to submit proof of identity, for instance a passport or proof of registration at the Chamber of Commerce. eHerkenning provides an organisation with that assurance and allows the user to log on with a single eHerkenning token. The providing party can choose from different levels of assurance. For instance, a lower level is meant for logging on to a platform only, while the higher variant is better suitable for business secrets and (changing) personal data.
In spite of its importance, the business sector is still largely unacquainted with this matter. However, Digidentity manages to promote this importance better and better, and this is borne out by its wide variety of prominent customers. It includes various government agencies, at both local and international level op. For instance, Digidentity supports the British government's GOV.UK Verify system, which is comparable to Dutch DigiD. The American government and large German organisations are also part of its clientele.
2018 important year in the field of identity management
Digidentity predicts that next year may become an important watershed. After all, the new GDPR enters into force (28 May 2018), while a further regulation (eIDAS) is added in September. From then on, citizens and businesses from other EU countries need to be able to log on at Dutch government agencies using their own national login token. This is to make it easier to manage affairs at European level. That is why these organisations must adhere to the eHerkenning scheme before September next.
“Doing business and maintaining contacts takes place more and more digitally. This saves (travelling) time and thus costs. That is why secure logons, conducting business online, being certain that the party you are dealing with is who he says he is and working with digital signature become increasingly important. Because of these developments and the fast-growing clientele, we currently have a lot of vacancies”, Marcel Wendt concludes.