WEF Report Discusses Digital ID, ‘Behavioral Credentials’ in Metaverse

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    According to a new report from the World Economic Forum, digital identity is the basis of the evolving concept of metaverse identity, which extends beyond traditional digital identity to encompass a wide range of data and new forms of credentials.

    The report, titled “Metaverse Identity: Defining the Self in a Blended Reality,” is the result of a collaboration between WEF and Accenture. The Metaverse delves into the complexities of identity in an evolving digital environment, highlighting the Metaverse's potential to blend physical and digital realities and redefine how individuals interact with each other and their environment.

    The report's authors define the Metaverse as the future of the Internet and envision it as a spatial, social Internet experience that leverages existing and emerging technologies to seamlessly blend the physical and digital worlds. The Metaverse is seen as an evolution that builds on current Internet infrastructure and is enhanced with spatial experiences that provide a more immersive, interactive, and integrated digital environment. This vision of the Metaverse emphasizes its potential to act as a conduit between the digital and physical realms, profoundly transforming social interactions, economic transactions, and personal identity.

    Digital identity clearly plays an important role in this concept of the metaverse. The WEF report highlights the need to design digital identity frameworks that are comprehensive, secure, and adaptable to the dynamic nature of the metaverse.

    We introduce innovative form factor concepts for digital identity, such as credentials based on inferred data and avatar characteristics, and provide unique verification methods within the metaverse. The document also suggests that know-your-customer (KYC) processes may be adapted to the diverse and interoperable nature of the virtual space, incorporating visual verification indicators to build trust. I am.

    In this context, the authors of the WEF report discuss the potential role of biometrics in metaverse digital identity. This includes the use of unique body-based data as a means of verification and marks a move towards more personalized and potentially continuous forms of authentication. For example, an individual's behavior combined with facial recognition can act as a “behavioral credential”, enabling a dynamic verification process based on real-time inference data.

    For those concerned about the growing prominence of digital identity among governments and NGOs such as the World Economic Forum, the idea of ​​using behavioral data for continuous authentication means that every action in the digital realm It may be interpreted as a step towards continued surveillance that may be monitored. Being tracked and analyzed raises concerns about a loss of anonymity and autonomy.

    Similarly, the report's proposals to adapt KYC processes to the Metaverse could raise alarms about the introduction of strict identity verification measures, making access to digital spaces and services conditional on the disclosure of personal information and ensuring that online may lead to a scenario where the freedom and anonymity of the person is restricted.

    That said, the report repeatedly emphasizes the importance of privacy, data protection, inclusion, and ethical considerations.

    The document ends with an acknowledgments section that begins by thanking the members of the “steering committee” who “spent significant time providing important input and feedback on the draft.” Steering committee members include representatives from Microsoft, Meta, Sony, Qualcomm, Google, and Walmart, as well as Saudi Arabia's NEOM smart city project, the United Arab Emirates, and the Washington think tank Atlantic Council. There is.

    sauce: WEF

    March 28, 2024 – Alex Perala and Mobile ID World Editorial Team


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