“Privacy Issues in Identity Verification,” IEEE Security & Privacy, May 2014.
Identity verification—that is, confirming that an identity is real and that the individual claiming the identity is entitled to it—is fundamental to establishing trust in the economic system. Identity verification raises privacy concerns such as increased collection of personal information, use of data of inappropriate quality for identity verification, lack of transparency about the verification process and its results, and disclosures of personal information to third parties as part of the verification process. These issues can be mitigated through limiting identity verification only to instances where identity (and not just proof of eligibility) is required; minimizing the data set needed for identity verification; greater transparency about data used behind the scenes for identity verification, and giving individuals the ability to challenge and correct this data. Finally, consumers should have multiple identities and credentials that let them segregate their activities in a way that makes them comfortable.