Government Identity News

US Homeland Security unveils design challenge for credentials

permanent resident credential

Last week the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched a call to design a user interface for a wallet that would hold decentralized credentials such as Permanent Resident Cards. The initiative offers a total prize of $25,000 from the Science and Technology Directorate, which has a Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP).

Rather than a technology project, the “Trusted UI for Digital Wallets” emphasizes graphic design.

But the announcement revealed that the solution aims to comply with W3C standards for verifiable credentials.

The objective is to achieve something that’s user-friendly and supports interoperability, security, and privacy. “We think there are graphical designers that can help with designing UIs for digital wallets that are part of these systems, that could be used not just by DHS, but anyone in the community working on standards-based verifiable credentials,” said Anil John from the SVIP program.

The first stage of the two-stage challenge closes on October 15th.

Meanwhile, the DHS has numerous ongoing blockchain projects. And several of them relate to identity or credentials. Three months ago, the department issued multiple calls to startups relating to blockchain. Two related to identity, including exploring an alternative to social security numbers where the data doesn’t contain anything that can easily identify the individual. Additionally, it was looking for COVID-19 solutions, including validation to gain access to a building.

We’re aware of at least four other DHS grants relating to decentralized identity and credentials.