Microsoft and Accenture build a blockchain ID system for refugees

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Blockchain ID system

Accenture and Microsoft are teaming up to develop a digital identity prototype using blockchain technology.

As part of United Nations supported project to provide legal ID to more than 1.1 billion people around the world, including 7 million refugees, by 2020.

The companies revealed the prototype on Monday at the UN headquarters in New York during the second summit of ID2020.

The prototype combines a person’s biometric information, such as fingerprint or retina scan with blockchain. The technology that underpins cryptocurrencies, to create a legal identity.

Identity protection

The tool will provide refugees with the ability to present their IDs via an app. The app shares their identities when required to access basic services, such as health care and education.

Blockchain, first developed as a public ledger of all transactions in the digital currency Bitcoin. It is used to securely track data in other fields.

The 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, said David Treat, managing director at Accenture’s global blockchain business.

The prototype connects existing systems of commercial and public entities through blockchain. Allowing users to access their personal information wherever they are.

One of the main advantages of blockchain is it allows systems of different organizations to communicate with each other, Yorke Rhodes, global business strategist at Microsoft, said in an interview.

The prototype was built on top of Accenture’s Unique Identity Service Platform, which powers the biometric identity management system used by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The prototype runs on Microsoft’s cloud computing platform Azure.

Blockchain will play a role in addressing the security dilemma associated with the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

Accenture and Microsoft, which worked on the prototype with managed service provider Avanade. Also, inviting other companies to join their project.

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