Civic digital identityRivetz, which provides decentralized hardware-based cybersecurity, is partnering with global digital identity provider Civic and Telefónica’s cybersecurity unit, ElevenPaths, to offer next-generation identity solutions powered by blockchain.

Trusted computing technologies are not an end by themselves, but are an opportunity to improve mobile users’ security, providing a research and innovation framework in the context of cybersecurity”, said Pedro Pablo Pérez, Telefónica Global Security VP & ElevenPaths CEO.

Pedro Pablo Pérez
Pedro Pablo Pérez

The ever-growing importance of digital identity

Digital identity is a cornerstone for a growing decentralised economy. In this partnership:

The partnership hope to  enable billions of mobile users to have a digital identity which they:

  • control
  • simplifies access to global services.
Vinny Lingham
Vinny Lingham

The ability to prove who you are is a fundamental human need. Our partnership with Rivetz and ElevenPaths is a massive step in putting an uncomplicated digital identity solution in the hands of mobile users, who then call the shots,” said Vinny Lingham, CEO and Co-Founder of Civic.

The concept of identity is rapidly changing, and we look forward to a revolutionary partnership that makes sharing and verifying identity safe and seamless.

 

Dual Roots of Trust and TEE

With Dual Roots of Trust cryptography, a user’s private key will be distributed between two independent roots of trust, or operating systems:

  • the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE)
  • the carrier subscriber identity module (SIM).

The solution will provide an additional layer of protection for private keys – even if one of the systems is compromised. Civic stores personal information locally on a mobile device where protection comes via by biometrics and high-level encryption. This integration will enable Civic to separate:

  • locally stored personal information
  • a user’s private key.
Steven Sprague, CEO of Rivetz
Steven Sprague, CEO of Rivetz

This extra layer provided additional protection. The Rivetz approach hinges upon access to the TEE, which is an isolated, measured computer environment separate from the device’s operating system. By provisioning all digital transactions through the TEE, Rivetz ensures alteration or the theft of users’ private keys cannot occur if the operating system is tampered with or infected by malware.

We are pleased to have Civic as part of the project to bring blockchain-powered identity verification services to the consumer,” said Steven Sprague, CEO of Rivetz. “The integration of built-in security and digital identity will offer a simple yet powerful new capability for users.

About Civic + Rivetz + Elevenpaths

Civic is a blockchain identity-verification technology that enables a consumer to authorise the use of his or her identity in real time. Civic represents an initiative to develop an ecosystem which facilitates on-demand, secure and low-cost access to identity-verification services via the blockchain. To this end, Civic recently introduced a token for participants in its ecosystem. Users will use this token to provide and receive identity-verification-related services. The Company sold $33 million of its tokens during its token sale event in June 2017.

Rivetz aspires to providing technology and services to support a safer and easier-to-use model for all users wishing to protect digital assets. It uses hardware-based trusted-execution technology where a device assists in automating security and enabling the controls needed to deliver high assurance data and allied services. Rivetz leverages cybersecurity tools to develop a model for both users and their devices to interact with services on the Internet.

ElevenPaths is a Telefónica Cyber Security Unit. It believes in challenging the current state of security. As such, it is always redefining the relationship between security and people with the aim of creating security products which innovate and can transform the concept of security. In essence it hopes to help users stay one step ahead of those who increasingly attack the users’ ‘digital lives’.

Enterprise Times: what does this mean

For Enterprise Times the practical implications of this announcement remain fuzzy. There are good words about security and separation and blockchain. Telefónica has over 300M mobile customers, which represents a credible base for proving what the partnership delivers.

What is not clear is how the partnership will exploit blockchain technology, nor how it will assure performance. Who wants to be waiting for a blockchain response before making a call or accessing the Internet or data? There is much which needs unravelling in this Civic + Rivetz + Telefónica before a reasonable assessment of its relevance for assured digital identity operation is possible.

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