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CHIPS Articles: Understanding Emerging Blockchain Identity Management Systems

Understanding Emerging Blockchain Identity Management Systems
By CHIPS Magazine - July 10, 2019
Traditional identity management has typically involved storing user credentials, such as username-password combinations, in organizations and third parties, which often results in concerns with interoperability, security and privacy. For example, every time an individual discloses privacy information in an internet transaction, data is stored on numerous internet databases. Digital footprints of the same individual continue to emerge across different retail and financial platforms compounding security issues.

Now, a possible solution has emerged via the use of blockchain technology to create novel identity management approaches with built-in control and consent mechanisms. Blockchain identity management can potentially transform current data governance and ownership models by enabling users to control their data and share select personal information while helping businesses streamline operations by relying on verified user information without having to maintain and secure a storage infrastructure for user data themselves.

To this end the National Institute of Standards and Technology announces the release of a Draft Cybersecurity White Paper, A Taxonomic Approach to Understanding Emerging Blockchain Identity Management Systems (IDMS), which provides an overview of the standards, building blocks, and system architectures that support emerging blockchain-based identity management systems and selective disclosure mechanisms.

The white paper also considers the full spectrum of top-down versus bottom-up governance models for identifier and credential management and addresses some of the risks and security concerns that may arise in blockchain use, NIST said in a release.

The common terminology, concepts, and properties introduced in this work can facilitate communications among business owners, software developers, cybersecurity professionals within an organization, and individuals who are or will be using such systems.

A public comment period for this document is open until Aug. 9, 2019. Email Comments to: blockchain-idms-paper@nist.gov.

Publication:
A Taxonomic Approach to Understanding Emerging Blockchain Identity Management Systems (IDMS)

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