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ID2020 Alliance certifies blockchain identity firm ZAKA


Yesterday ID2020 announced that UK-based ZAKA was only the third digital identity organization to receive ID2020 certification. ZAKA has applications in the developing world but also a COVID-19 solution. 

The ID2020 Alliance is backed by big names such as Accenture, Microsoft, the Rockefeller Foundation and Mastercard as well non profits including Mercy Corps, Kiva and Gavi, the Vaccines Alliance. Its manifesto acknowledges that over a billion people can’t prove their identity and, as a result, are unable to access basic services.

ID2020 unveiled its certification plan last year, and ZAKA is just the third to achieve the mark of a “good ID” after Kiva Protocol and Gravity were given the same recognition in March.

To qualify for certification, the solution provider has to subscribe to ID2020’s principles of portability, persistence, privacy and user control. A technical committee then vets the application against a list of functional requirements that ID2020 refers to as its ‘Technical Requirements‘. Receipt certification doesn’t mean the technology has been audited at a technical level. Instead, the review is at a functional level.

The requirements include a list of 38 criteria, such as the ability to operate offline, avoid restricting use to particular devices such as smartphones, and a trusted custodian for key recovery.

“The rigorous evaluation of our company by ID2020 should give prospective partners confidence that our solution is meeting global standards and advancing the vital mission of bringing ‘good ID’ to all,” said ZAKA CEO and Co-Founder Nick Mason.

ZAKA’s mission is “to ensure that any person, with any phone, can access any service, at any time”, by offering inclusive digital identity. ID2020 referred to an application developed by ZAKA to help refugees with verifiable digital identities in Turkey. The project is in partnership with the United Nations Development Program and the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It also has a solution and presence in Rwanda.

But right now, COVID-19 applications are the pressing need. ZAKA has a NewNorm solution that aims to provide privacy-compliant applications for businesses. It includes a module for occupancy monitoring to scan a QR code at the entry and exit to buildings. If someone tests positive in the building, anonymous users receive a notification. So far, it’s being used by two New York University departments.

There’s a long list of COVID-19 solutions. Some of the highest-profile are the Covid Credentials Initiative, one from the International Chamber of Commerce and GE Aviation targeting the travel sector.