Services giant Accenture and technology powerhouse Microsoft have teamed up to build an unprecedented global digital ID program to provide legal identification to 1.1 billion people without documents around the world.
“People without a documented identity suffer by being excluded from modern society,” said David Treat, managing director of Accenture’s global blockchain business.
When operational, the tool will enable individuals such as refugees who have fled their home country, to show their identity and where they came from, via an app on their phone. The app will allow individuals to share their identities following their direct consent.
A screenshot of the application, released by Accenture, can be found below:
In helping establish their identities, the ID2020 program aims to help individuals and refugees gain access to basic services including healthcare and education in a new land.
Without an identity, it becomes very difficult to gain access to an education, financial services, healthcare, and other necessities.
All identifiable information “always resides ‘off chain’”, Accenture confirmed in a news release.Upon receiving consent to grant access to an individual’s information, the prototype app taps the off-chain system for the details.
The two companies have been at work in developing the tool since 2016, primarily led by Accenture’s research hub in Ireland. Notably, the prototype uses the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance’s private, or “permissioned,” blockchain protocol. Accenture and Microsoft are both founding members of the EEA , a cross-industry working group working toward developing enterprise solutions based on the Ethereum blockchain that took shape earlier this year .
Accenture has been providing pro bono services in consulting, digital services and project management as a partner for the United Nations’ Partnership for Refugees program.
Ultimately, the blockchain ID system is expected to support over 7 million refugees from 75 countries by the year 2020.