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Swiss university, startups partner on self-sovereign identity

Swiss university, startups partner on self-sovereign identity
 

Zug-based startup Partisia Blockchain and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO Valais-Wallis) have announced they are partnering to define an architecture for a self-sovereign identity (SSI) that meets the data privacy and security requirements of the Swiss Federal Council.

The SSI system will give citizens the power to decide how their data will be shared. It has been developed by Partisia Blockchain, DuoKey and HES-SO Valais-Wallis and will be presented to the Department of Justice before Christmas.

The Federal Office of Justice developed a discussion paper on the goals of an e-ID system for the nation after the Federal Act on Electronic Identification Services (e-ID Act) was rejected by Swiss citizens in March 2021. The Swiss Federal Council selected SSI as its approach over two others outlined in the paper.

The system utilizes verifiable credentials (VCs) and SD-JWT selective disclosure to support SSI, according to the announcement. As explained in a handy explanation from Auth0 co-authored by Vittorio Bertocci before his untimely passing, VCs are cryptographically secure digital documents that show promise for comprehensive, secure, digital ID systems for national governments. They use a decentralized framework to enable users to only share necessary information from their IDs across platforms without relying on a central authority.

The system uses VCs for secure authentication along with selective disclosure JSON web tokens. The encrypted VC system also maintains privacy and data integrity. The resulting digital identity management solution is energy efficient and scalable.

Partisia Blockchain says it not only offers a sustainable choice but also ensures the scalability needed to accommodate any number of users while upholding the highest standards of security.

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