(OPINION) “Trust Scores” or reputational scores are aspects of having a digital identity that haven’t been discussed much. By default, everyone who accepts a digital identity, whether decentralized or not, will receive a Trust Score. With the introduction of trusted digital identities, social credit systems are reaching the West.

The tagline of many digital identity advertisements is “At the heart of all digital identity is trust.” But what does that even mean? One current definition of trust is that it is “a confident relationship with the unknown.”

“Digital identity is a collage of up-to-date digital data that defines an individual, dynamic, multipurpose, and reusable, a system for verifying information to establish eligibility to access a service, perform a task, or receive a benefit, resulting from a dynamic network of distributed, data sources (such as financial institutions, mobile network providers, governments) that verifies identity in real-time.”


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Digital identity solutions are being rolled out under the title “Trusted Digital Identity”, which enables people, businesses, and governments to have confidence in digital interactions.

At both ends of the interaction, digital identity is about establishing confidence and trust. Both parties must be confident that the other party is who they claim to be. Both require trust in the system that mediates the interaction.

When a new customer registers for a digital identity (officially called onboarding) such as mobile identity provider Prove, they enter their mobile number.

Using mobile networks, Prove’s mobile authentication checks if the activity is coming from the expected device using the mobile number.

By checking the following: Mobile Network, Device Status, Prepaid Sim, Sim Velocity, Device and Sim Tenure, and finally Port Date, Prove’s Trust Score determines the dynamic contextual and behavioral risk level of the mobile number.

Trust Scores range from 0-1000, with a higher number indicating a higher Trust Score. Scores over 630 are considered ‘high’, and scores below 300 are considered ‘low’.

A Trust Score risk model examines phone intelligence signals such as phone tenure (SIM tenure, device tenure), line attributes (active number, number porting, mobile status, available network status, and line type), account activity (change event occurrence velocity), and device activity (device ownership tenure) to determine risk level.

A new customer’s identity is also verified by verifying their mobile number with parameters such as their name, address, date of birth, and email address.

At the end, the process compares against data sources such as phone intelligence signals and Consumer Reporting Agencies like Credit Reporting Agencies, Banks, Utilities, Telcos, and Mobile Network Operators.

In summary, there are three steps: Mobile Auth, Trust Score, and Identity Verification. Identity validation has traditionally been a yes or no decision, whereas new digital identity systems use Trust Scores, which act as identity quotients.

When one needs to fly across the globe during a trip, you most likely share identity with several organizations, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft.

Furthermore, not all organizations have systems to validate the authenticity of the documents provided, so Earth ID allows you to share specific information securely.

The level of a Trust Score allows organizations to make better decisions whether at the airport check-in, security, car rental, or even at the hotel.

The score goes up if other people have had a positive experience with a given user. The opposite is true if prior partners have not enjoyed their interactions.

“By 2030, we’ll see, for example, credit scoring expanding into ‘life scoring’. Identity and reputation will be digitized & analyzed in minute detail, shaping a future where a personal ‘trust score’ will be the norm.

The WEF calls it a ‘life score’: They wrote in “Trust in 2030 – from institutions to individuals”: “By 2030, we’ll see, for example, credit scoring expanding into ‘life scoring’. Identity and reputation will be digitized and analyzed in minute detail, shaping a future where a personal ‘trust score’ will be the norm, with all the benefits and drawbacks that might bring.” (READ MORE)

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