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Yesterday, Microsoft published a white paper on Decentralized Identity (DID) solution. These identities are user-generated, self-owned, globally unique identifiers rooted in decentralized systems. Over the past 18 months, Microsoft has been working towards building a digital identity system using blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies. With these identities aims to enhance personal privacy, security, and control.

Microsoft has been actively collaborating with members of the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF), the W3C Credentials Community Group, and the wider identity community. They are working with these groups to identify and develop critical standards. Together they plan to establish a unified, interoperable ecosystem that developers and businesses can rely on to build more user-centric products, applications, and services.

Why decentralized identity (DID) is needed?

Nowadays, people use digital identity at work, at home, and across every app, service, and device. Access to these digital identities such as email addresses and social network IDs can be removed at any time by the email provider, social network provider, or other external parties. Users also give permissions to numerous apps and devices, which calls for a high degree of vigilance of tracking who has access to what information.

This standards-based decentralized identity system empowers users and organizations to have greater control over their data. This system addresses the problem of users granting broad consent to countless apps and services. It provides them a secure encrypted digital hub where they can store their identity data and easily control access to it.

What it means for users, developers, and organizations?

Benefits for users

  • It enables all users to own and control their identity
  • Provides secure experiences that incorporate privacy by design
  • Design user-centric apps and services

Benefits for developers

  • It allows developers to provide users personalized experiences while respecting their privacy
  • Enables developers to participate in a new kind of marketplace, where creators and consumers exchange directly

Benefits for organizations

  • Organizations can deeply engage with users while minimizing privacy and security risks
  • Provides a unified data protocol to organizations to transact with customers, partners, and suppliers
  • Improves transparency and auditability of business operations

To know more about decentralized identity, read the white paper published by Microsoft.

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