The recent spate of data breaches—including a flaw in Google+ that led to its shutdown and the reported hacking of 120 million Facebook users’ data—have highlighted the abuse of digital identity.
While having a digital identity brings convenience, the challenge is to ensure that individuals have full control and protection of their data. Technologies for safeguarding digital identities have emerged in the U.S. and Europe, but developments have been slow in Asia due to its diverse language mix and cross-racial facial features, says Real ID’s CEO Chong Han Ping.
Real ID, whose partners include Alibaba-backed SenseTime, recently launched its screening and face-learning technology. Its AI and blockchain technology shortens the onboarding and KYC (Know-Your-Client) process for remittance transactions by as much as 90% and reduces human error, says Chong.
“Multi-language verification is rare, and we have focused our efforts on building partnerships in different markets to improve our language-learning and OCR technology as well as to shorten machine-reading time,” he adds. OCR is the recognition of printed or written text characters by a computer.
Real ID, whose employees include former data scientists and machine-learning experts from Tencent, China National Research Centre, and Nanyang Technological University, is in talks with authorities in India, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia to build a regional digital ID ecosystem for cross-border business.
Real ID adopts SenseTime’s facial recognition technology, which is empowered by liveness detection, face matching and machine learning to eliminate any deception. The use of blockchain technology ensures that records cannot be altered retroactively without the consensus of the network.
A combination of both on-chain and off-chain transactions also allows verification results to be audited by different parties, without the need to reveal underlying identity information. For further security, the data is backed by validators who are authorised to issue a trust statement on behalf of the user.
Real ID has invented a model for creating, collecting, verifying, accepting, and authorising digital identities, which will establish an ecosystem that connects users, merchants, and certification bodies, Chong explains. The company projects that its model can reach over 10 million users in the region in the next five years.