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In high-tech times, it is only logical that one's own identity can be demonstrated digitally. As in all cases where data security is concerned, it makes sense to use the blockchain here. The US city of Dublin has taken such a path. In addition to the harmless identity system, the city is also trying on a disturbing reward mechanism.
The small town of Dublin, Ohio, is working on a blockchain-based system for digital identities. The new solution aims to give citizens control over their data while facilitating administrative tasks. In addition, however, the city of 40,000 inhabitants is also planning a point system for behavior that is in line with "community values". An exact start date for the identity solution is not yet known, but will soon start a beta phase.
Doug McCollough, the city's chief information officer, spoke to the news site Columbusunderground about the reasons for the technological update:
The processes that a city uses to measure what its inhabitants want could be improved. These mechanisms are not always an accurate representation of the majority opinion. A secure, anonymous and responsible survey function will allow us to get feedback down to the neighborhood level on topics we might be interested in, such as: For example, a policy or decision or design that we consider.
Privacy should be guaranteed
In addition to the survey function described by McCollough, the proposed system also offers a number of additional functions designed to facilitate contact between citizens and public authorities. The citizens of Dublin should also be able to use the system for elections or complaints. In addition, applications can also be completed via the system, the annoying administrative procedure would thus be spared.
The system, developed by a regional IT company in the region, aims to respect the privacy of citizens. Each Dubliner gets an anonymous key assigned, and the decision about which data he wants to reveal, is entirely up to him. To ensure the authenticity of polling or voting data, all information should also be stored on a separate block chain to which Dublin City Council has no access.
Points system in Dublin with "Geschmäckle"
The scoring system also announced, however, seems to stand in the way of such privacy promises. Because Dublin plans to reward an environmentally conscious or otherwise committed action of its citizens through a point mechanism. These "Dublin Points" could then be redeemed for city merchandise. McCollough could also imagine that local companies participate in the points system, for example through discount campaigns. All this may initially sound like a harmless mechanism to create incentives for socially responsible behavior. However, the Dublin Points could well turn out to be a problematic control tool. It is therefore advisable to keep an eye on such developments.
Blockchain-based identity solutions on the rise
Meanwhile, the development of blockchain-based digital identities is progressing elsewhere. The Spanish province of Catalonia is also working with IdentiCat on an identity solution based on the blockchain. Similar to Dublin, a concept of empowerment is in the foreground. Citizens should be given more control over their data and also be able to use digital services through the system. The Catalan want to introduce IdentiCat already in the year 2020. In addition, Swisscom Blockchain and NEO are also working on a decentralized ID card solution in Switzerland. This is supposed to bear the name Seraph-ID, the Blockchain also forms the foundation here.
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