‘DID Alliance Korea 2019’ Conference was a major event
– A lot of questions were raised regarding Decentralized ID
DID Alliance Korea announced on October 22 the successful completion of its “DID Alliance Korea 2019” conference that gathered over 600 people, including world’s’ top experts in terms of Decentralized ID, Biometric Authentication systems and Cybersecurity.
DID Alliance Korea, which is operated jointly by the Korea Financial Telecommunications & Clearings Institute, the Korea PKI Forum and the Korea FIDO Forum, was held under the theme, “Decentralized Identity” that will revolutionize our lives.
Prior to the event, DID Alliance and DID Alliance Korea held preliminary meetings to establish a Decentralized ID ecosystem in Korea and overseas, while looking for cooperation agreements in various industries. Further in-depth information will be shared to establish an efficient cooperative system in the future.
DID Alliance Korea Chairman Yeong Rin Kim said in a welcome speech, “With the emergence of the Self-Sovereign Identity for users, the identity management system is being improved from a traditional Server-Client model to a system in which users take the control back over their own personal information.” He added, “After today’s launching ceremony, DID Alliance’s policies will be completed, while being structured around Korea and the U.S., and the foundation for DID will be established in accordance with the participating organizations’ opinions.”
Taher Elgamal, a security expert who was the first speaker, enumerated three important goals that the Distributed Identity should fulfill. The Decentralized ID should:
1. Prove ID in a Secure Way;
2. Be a Decentralized Authority over data;
3. Enhance Individual Privacy.
He also mentioned four elements that we should watch out for: “Unknown uncertain events”, “Key Recover”, “Multiple DID” and “People trying to Defeat the system.”
Taher Elgamal emphasized the importance of security, “There are three things that we should not forget from the past. Since cryptography can be broken (1), we need to be able to respond to ‘single point of failure’ (2) through ‘flexible design’ (3) so that we can protect against other unexpected attacks when deploying SSL or ‘Agile Cryptography’, and so we can prevent one failure from affecting the entire system.”
“DID will lead to drastic changes in the way people use the Internet,” said Dr. Ho Hyeorn Han, Vice-Chair of DID Alliance Korea, who was the second speaker of the session. “A public consensus on a system that supports each individual’s role as the main subject of information is needed.” He added, “DID platforms that various companies are currently striving to develop still rely on the existing identity system. Building an authentic DID-based Identity system requires the development of future technologies that can be operated directly between individuals.” He also mentioned about the leading role that plays Korea in the adoption of the DID technology in the world while emphasizing on the need to develop a global cooperation to quicken the diffusion of the technology worldwide.
Phillip J. Windley, Chairman of the Sovrin Foundation, presented the third session. He started his presentation by enumerating the problems of digital identity such as proximity, autonomy, privacy, anonymity, flexibility, interoperability and scalability. He then explained that digital identity systems must exist in an online metasystem, which is an encapsulating protocol that unified user experience, where users select appropriate identity providers and features. He also mentioned that standard metasystems should not be a single entity (not a monolith). The Chairman of Sovrin added that an identity metasystem that changes online interactions could become trustworthy by using trusted credentials. Such metasystem could strengthen security and users ownership over their personal information while reducing integration costs.
Tae Jin Kim, the CTO of Raonsecure, was the following speaker of the conference. He introduced OmniOne, the FIDO-based DID network for Self-Sovereign Identity while explaining, “In the age of Web 2.0, two-way communication was the key point focusing on user-generated content and participatory culture. In the age of Web 3.0, which is evolving into an era of customized data with the advent of big data, we expect that individuals will take the ownership back over their personal information.” The CTO of Raonsecure added, “Identity systems have been changing from centrally managed system to federated system, and the trend is rapidly evolving toward a new user-centric structure.” In particular, he expressed his hope that the DID Alliance will serve as an anchor point for easing the interoperability between various DID platforms such as OmniOne and Sovrin.
Then, the co-founder of the DID Alliance, Ramesh Kesanupalli, unveiled for the first time in the world a high-level concept related to the DID: the Global Association for Digital Identity (GADI), which is an infrastructure “preventing users from creating multiple digital addresses.” He pursued, “Using standardized API allows users to connect their personal information (identity attributes) to already created digital addresses anywhere in the world.” Ramesh Kesanupalli explained that GADI could bring unprecedented responsibility and trust in digital identification industry without infringing on users’ privacy, which drew participants’ attention.
The speaker of the sixth session, Sang Hyun Baek, who is the Manager of Cyber Security Team in the Information Planning Department at Military Manpower Administration, introduced a use case of the DID technology in the public sector. He explained, “We wanted to implement blockchain and DID technology on trust-based civil application service and public administrative services in order to seek alternative measures for public certificates, strengthen the reliability of civil affairs handling, and improve the distribution system of military service certificates.” He explained, “By doing so, we expect to increase users’ authentication convenience, reduce costs, simplify issuance and handling process of military service certificates, and we look forward to expanding nodes and services by securing blockchain infrastructure.”
“As of September 2019, twenty-six (26) financial companies have confirmed their participation in the financial distributed ID consortium propelled by the Korea Financial Telecommunications & Clearings Institute (KFTC), and we are discussing with nine (9) financial companies about their participation in the consortium,” explained Jung Hyun Park, who is the Team Leader of Next Generation Certification Department at KFTC. The last speaker of the conference added, “In terms of differentiation points, the financial distributed ID consortium plans to:
– Provide tailored financial information based on a robo-advisor;
– Use bio-authentication infrastructure (providing distributed ID structure enabling low-cost & high-efficiency);
– Ensure distributed ID compatibility online and offline;
– Conclude partnerships with Korean platform providers.
Jung Hyun Park eventually mentioned, “We will actively contribute to the DID Alliance and the International Standardization while striving to develop Service Standards based on the financial distributed ID consortium in order to established them as financial standards in Korea.”
DID Alliance will reportedly host a global conference in the U.S. in the first half of next year.