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There are a variety of identity management products on the market from biometric to frictionless password solutions, all with the goal of making personal information more secure and removing friction from the process. Combine this with the graveyard of software solutions and reactive products that tell you after your information has been compromised, and we clearly have a problem that hasn’t been holistically addressed. The real benefit to both businesses and consumers is preventing fraud in the first place, and not all approaches are created equal. Let’s break them each down to understand them a bit more, leaving out the technical constructs (e.g. encryption, cryptography) and walk through the general concept.

Identity Approximation

This is a term I use for systems where you input information into the system, such as biometric data, and the system validates only what you’ve input into it. This type of system doesn’t validate against a broader system to prove identity. For example, take a look at Apple’s FaceID product. It’s a truly amazing biometric technology, but does it prove identity? At the end of the day, the product is designed to take a series of inputs from a user and add a template to an iOS device. When you’re ready to use the system you authenticate the information you’ve put into the system. It doesn’t actually ever know the user’s identity. Given the ability to add multiple appearances in Apple FaceID and Passcode settings, you can have multiple people enrolled on the device, further creating the risk of those people adding more, or even compromising some of the security of your applications. In most cases, this isn’t a problem, though it does present a risk. The applications that use FaceID, are providing access to those with a FaceID account. See the problem? Ultimately, the system is only as good as the information that’s entered. The possibility of a garbage-in, garbage-out scenario exists. Again, this isn’t anything negative about Apple’s FaceID, this is the idea that proving identity is considerably more challenging than entering a bit of information and storing it on a device to authenticate locally.

Identity Proofing

Identity proofing is the process of actually proving an identity. This is a multi-step, multi-factor enrollment process that uses a variety of biometrics and biographic checks to determine a person’s identity. It starts with entering your information into a system – collecting both biometric and biographical data. The system then takes that data, validates that there’s no other information in the system that matches any of the information input, and moves to the next step; repeating this validation throughout the process. Next, your ID is scanned and authenticated against a series of systems to authenticate its validity, and that the information you’ve entered into the system accurately reflects the valid information checked from your ID. All of this data should then be sent through a verification engine that validates everything from the device itself (e.g. is the phone registered to this user, is the device forwarded) to the persona (e.g. dark web scans, biographical information scans). Finally, the process culminates with some form of video experience with a live person, or an AI model to validate the information input into the system and the identity on the other side of the device are the same – specifically that the face images match the ID, facial biometric scan and person on the other end of the screen.

Add this to the most powerful computing device in our pocket, a smartphone, and we have a solution that enrolls, protects, and allows for ongoing authentication.

The critical differences here are the multi-modal verification steps, blended with complete validation of the combined set of both biometric and biographic data at the end of the process. Identity management is an arms race of epic proportions and our ability to adapt and innovate is the only way to solve the problem.

Every person’s identity deserves to be protected and every business deserves to know who their customers are.

This is Q5id. A patented and complete identity management platform that does 3 core things better than anyone else:

  1. Enroll – anytime, anywhere
  2. Proves Identity – completely and one time
  3. Authenticates – in seconds and pluggable to any system at any time

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