This article by Chris Smith was originally published at Civic.com on February 20, 2019. It is being republished here with the publisher’s permission through syndication.
Take a second to consider how much someone would know about you if they had unfettered access to your phone. We store so much information on our phones that our mobile devices have become windows into our lives. Think about all the apps you sign into, photos you take, and texts that you send. Studies show that the average person spends over four hours on their mobile device per day. The average person also has over 80 apps installed on his or her cell phone.
All of that information adds up to a treasure trove of identity data for anyone who gains access to it, regardless of whether it is through legal or illegal means. Accordingly, we’ve seen the data economy take-off, as companies have discovered that identity data is very valuable in the digital economy.
Until recently, we didn’t spend too much time or energy protecting our data. Passcodes were simple to hack or altogether nonexistent, giving thieves easy access to your credit card information, photos, emails, and anything else you’d store on your phone. It didn’t take much for bad actors to get their hands on your identity, then use it for nefarious purposes. The rise of the data economy, coupled with worsening data breaches and identity theft, have exacerbated these privacy concerns, and the face of privacy is changing.
We need new and improved security measures that actually protect users: making stolen data useless without the owner of said data. We need a system that values ownership of data rather than the sharing of data. The Civic App uses biometrics so that people must prove ownership of their data. Biometric authentication uses the things that make you, you — like your fingerprint or face — to ensure that only you can access or share this encrypted data. It’s much more secure than just sharing abstract information, like a social security number. Anyone can share your social security number, not everyone can prove ownership of your social security number.
Imagine if you had the Civic App pre-installed on your mobile phone and get your identity information verified the first time you use the device. Imagine if you could use this app as your ID at the airport or a bar, and you could use this app to log in and access every other app on your phone, from Facebook to your bank account, without the need to remember a username or password.
This is how digital identity can create a secure ecosystem, and this is the foundation that we’re building with Civic technology. The Civic App functions as the identity layer on your mobile device, and this functionality only becomes more powerful as it is connected to a growing ecosystem. The Civic App offers one, central account protected by biometrics and secured by blockchain attestations, in addition to giving you the ability to prove who you are on-demand.
More on this topic: In Fear Of Your Privacy? Here’s What You Can Do