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Consumer digital identities need more privacy protections, says Mastercard Exec

Consumer digital identities need more privacy protections, says Mastercard Exec

Executive Vice President of New Digital Infrastructure and Fintech at Mastercard, Robert Schukai, laid out a need for better privacy standards and advanced technologies to protect digital identities, speaking in keynote address at the virtual Secure and Private Compute Summit on July 6.

Schukai says Mastercard is invested in homomorphic encryption, CISO MAG reports, which is a method enabling ciphertext data to be processed without the need to decrypt it. This, along with the company’s New Digital Infrastructure Group aims to counter consumer data privacy challenges and bring about change in how digital identities are exchanged during financial transactions. The Group will be focused on developer outreach and engaging with the Fintech community.

“Today, we are at a critical juncture at how data is used. We see a real need for consumers to be in control of their data — for consumers to feel like they had a say in how it was used. At Mastercard, we took this seriously, and we established our data principles in 2019… these were principles that every single employee at Mastercard buys into today,” Schukai commented.

Last year the company became a member of the ID2020 Alliance, to further the organizations’ collaborative efforts on user-managed, privacy-protected and portable digital identity solutions.

Mastercard’s current biometrically-secured digital identity service ‘ID’ is a multi-party, digital identity network that provides individuals with the ability to create, manage, and use a reusable digital identity, according to the company website.

Mastercard trialed the digital ID system with an Australian university and the country’s postal system; also partnering with Australian telecom Optus to integrate the ‘ID’ with its mobile, voice, and retail channels in 2020.

Four things should take place when processing personal data. These include; consumers owning personal data, having control, being able to benefit from such data and being assured that Mastercard will protect the data. These will help to better protect user data and give control back to the customer, according to Schukai. This is possible via Mastercard’s MyDataPortal enabling individuals everywhere to see and manage personal information.

“We believe users should only have to share the data that is absolutely necessary at the time of the transaction, and this is our focus for any company that we work with or any use case that is out there,” said Schukai.

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