Accenture, Microsoft create blockchain-based ID network: 4 things to know

Accenture and Microsoft presented a blockchain-based digital identification program prototype at the United Nations headquarters in New York City June 19.

Here are four things to know about the prototype.

1. The two companies presented the prototype at the ID2020 Summit, an event supporting the global public-private partnership ID2020. The partnership aims to provide digital identities to the nearly 1.1 billion people across the globe who lack documented proof of existence, such as refugees.

2. The prototype builds on Accenture's work with blockchain and biometric systems, using the company's unique identity service platform to provide people in need of digital identification with a biometric system that manages fingerprint and iris data. The prototype runs on Microsoft's cloud platform, Azure.

3. Accenture and Microsoft's goal is to offer those in need with a way to access personal information and share their identity documentation with others. The prototype would enable undocumented refugees, for instance, to release and share their identity record with others via blockchain technology.

4. ID2020 considers identity documentation a human rights issue, since proof of identity is necessary to engage in many facets of political and economic life — for example, education, healthcare and voting.

"People without a documented identity suffer by being excluded from modern society," said David Treat, a managing director in Accenture's global blockchain business. "Our prototype is personal, private and portable, empowering individuals to access and share appropriate information when convenient and without the worry of using or losing paper documentation."

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