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Knowledge Hub

February 16, 2023

Democratizing the Digital World

Self-Sovereign Identity has the potential to democratize access to digital services, making them more inclusive and accessible to a broader range of users. By removing barriers to entry and empowering individuals to control their digital identities, SSI can play a pivotal role in bridging the digital divide. Let’s explore how SSI can promote inclusive access to digital services in an approachable way.

1. Empowering Underserved Populations

In many parts of the world, individuals may lack formal identification documents, making it difficult for them to access essential services, such as healthcare, education, or financial services. SSI can provide a solution by enabling these individuals to create and manage their digital identities, even without traditional identification documents.
By offering a more inclusive and flexible approach to identity management, SSI can empower underserved populations to access critical services, ultimately improving their quality of life and promoting social and economic development.

2. Simplifying Access to Cross-Border Services

In today’s globalized world, individuals often need to access services or resources across international borders. This can be challenging due to differences in legal requirements and language barriers. SSI can help address these challenges by enabling users to create a standardized digital identity that can be used across different jurisdictions. It renders the need for document attestation, notarization, translations, and shipment obsolete. Therefore, global access to services becomes cheaper and faster.

3. Reducing Barriers to Entry

Traditional identity management systems often require users to create multiple accounts and remember numerous usernames and passwords for different platforms. This can be a significant barrier for individuals who struggle with digital literacy or have limited access to technology.
SSI simplifies accessing digital services by allowing users to create a single, portable digital identity that can be used across multiple platforms. By removing the need to remember multiple login credentials, SSI makes it easier for a broader range of individuals to access and benefit from digital services.

4. Enhancing Accessibility

SSI can improve the accessibility of digital services for individuals with disabilities or those who face language barriers. By allowing users to store their preferences, such as accessibility settings or language preferences, as part of their digital identity, SSI can help ensure that digital services are tailored to the unique needs of each user.
This personalized approach to digital identity can make it easier for individuals with diverse needs to access and navigate digital services, promoting a more inclusive digital landscape.

5. Promoting Privacy and Security

Privacy and security concerns can deter some individuals from accessing digital services, especially those who are more vulnerable to identity theft or fraud. SSI addresses these concerns by giving users control over their personal information, enabling them to share only the necessary data for a specific purpose.
By enhancing privacy and security, SSI can encourage more individuals to engage with digital services, fostering a more inclusive digital ecosystem.

A simple example of international student enrolment:
Consider a talent from a rural Asian or African city applying to enroll in several universities in other countries. With traditional enrolment systems, the talent must provide documents in different formats and languages, such as transcripts, diplomas, or language proficiency certificates. They need to be attested and often physically shipped. This is a very costly and time-consuming process as it may require additional steps, such as translations or notarization.

With SSI, talent can store their educational credentials, language proficiency, and other relevant information as verifiable credentials in a digital wallet. These credentials can be easily shared with the university, regardless of location. The university can then verify the authenticity of the student’s credentials without additional paperwork or verification processes, simplifying the enrolment process and making it more accessible for students from different parts of the world.

Self-Sovereign Identity democratizes access to digital services. By adopting SSI, we can create a more inclusive digital landscape that benefits all individuals, regardless of their background, abilities, or access to technology.

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