The landscape of higher education is changing rapidly, with universities facing the need to adapt to new technologies and the challenges of the digital age. Student privacy and security plus the growing risk of identity theft and data breaches have made identity management a critical issue. In this context, decentralized identity solutions offer a promising approach. By putting control of identity information back into the hands of students, decentralisation can empower students and improve security and trust.
What is decentralized identity?
Decentralized identity is a new approach to identity management that allows individuals to control their own identity information. Under this model, students receive credentials from different issuers, such as governments, educational institutions, and employers storing them in a digital wallet. When they need to prove their identity, they present the relevant credentials to the appropriate issuing authority, which then verifies their identity through a blockchain-based ledger. The user’s data is not stored, meaning that students have greater control over their personal information.
Benefits of decentralized identity
Students expect seamless and secure experiences, and they want to register for courses and programs quickly and easily. Identity verification enhances the student experience by streamlining the registration process. Students can upload their identification documents and get verified within minutes, rather than having to go through lengthy verification processes. This not only saves time, but also enhances the student digital journey.
Portable credentials held on students’ mobile devices
Decentralized identity allows students to carry their credentials with them wherever they go, making their identities more portable and easier to access.
Live selfie identity verification
With decentralized identity, students can be verified at enrolment through a live selfie process. This makes identity verification more secure without the need for physical identity verification, and in real time.
how identity verification works
Increased control over personal data
Decentralized identity empowers students to take control of their personal information. They can choose what information to share and with whom, reducing the risk of identity fraud and protecting their privacy.
Decentralized identity is more secure than traditional identity management because credentials are stored on students’ devices, not on centralized servers, and are verified through a blockchain-based ledger.
Avoidance of expensive data maintenance
Universities can also save money by avoiding the expense of maintaining student data. With decentralized identity, the students own their data, and universities can avoid the responsibility and cost for maintaining and securing it.
Reduced identity fraud and spoofing risks
The decentralized identity model uses strong verification methodologies, making it difficult for fraudsters to spoof or steal identities.
Improved student experience and trust across the board
A decentralized identity puts students back in control of their information, leading to a more positive student experience and greater trust.
Extend the student digital journey
The use of decentralized identity extends the student digital journey in multiple ways. For example, from registration to graduation and job application, a student’s credentials are easier to access and verify with decentralized identity. At registration, they can be verified through a secure live selfie process and once completed, their degree will be stored in the graduate’s digital wallet. When applying for jobs, companies can quickly and securely verify the graduate’s identity and qualifications with the assurance of their authenticity. This makes the whole process smoother and quicker for both the student and the hiring organization.
In conclusion, decentralized identity offers an exciting new approach to the issue of identity management in higher education. By empowering students and putting control of their identities back into their hands, universities can improve security, reduce data maintenance expenses, and increase trust in the student experience. By choosing decentralized identity solutions, universities can also take an active role in shaping the future of identity management and help create a more secure and privacy-respecting digital world for all students.