LG CNS, the IT arm of LG, announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding with U.S.- based decentralized identity firm Evernym. This could bring together two important forces in decentralized identity (DID).
On the one hand, as a country, Korea has numerous high profile decentralized identity initiatives that involve multiple corporates. Evernym is the founder of the self sovereign identity network (SSI) Sovrin, and is a key participant in developing the W3C DID standards.
The ultimate aim of SSI is to put control over private information back in the hands of individuals and to remove the honeypots of centralized data exemplified by Equifax.
LG CNS says it wants to cooperate to establish a business base for global identity authentication. And it wants to implement this to replace international driving licenses and passports with blockchain technology.
“We will create a DID solution and service model that can be used worldwide through cooperation with Evernym,” said Kim Hong-geun, executive director of LG CNS.
Within the last month, we reported an LG CNS initiative for facial recognition combined with identity to enable digital currency payments in its canteen. And it works even when staff are wearing masks.
Separately, South Korea’s Sejong city government is developing a blockchain platform for verifying the identity of autonomous cars where LG CNS is one of the partners.
A dizzying number of Korean identity alliances
LG CNS is also a member of the DID Alliance, a large Korean consortium co-founded by Raon Secure that includes numerous banks and other organizations. It also has global ambitions but does not comply with W3C standards. Last year it launched the Global Association for Digital Identity (GADI), and one of its founders compared GADI to ICANN, which is responsible for the global internet domain name system.
LG’s sister company, the major telecoms firm LG Uplus, is part of Korea’s Initial DID Association. The alliance includes all three of the big South Korean telecoms firms and four of the top five banks. The group plans to launch its offering this year.
Meanwhile, there are still more Korean initiatives. Payment infrastructure KTFC as well as Korea’s Financial Security Institute each have DID projects, with the latter focusing on standards. Korean startup ICONLOOP also has multiple DID initiatives, although we don’t believe these are based on W3C standards.
Apart from Sovrin and the W3C standards, Evernym also came up with the idea of the Trust Over IP alliance, a new digital standards body that’s part of the Linux Foundation. Members include Accenture, IBM, Mastercard and R3.
With COVID-19, self sovereign identity can shine as a means to enable people to share health data without revealing personal information. To that end, Evernym is also a member of the COVID Credentials Initiative, a 60 strong group of like minded firms.