How will we authenticate our digital identities in 2022?

As the hybrid world continues to be the new norm and everything around us becomes increasingly digitalised, public consciousness of digital identity has become more prevalent than ever. However, the public cannot be expected to manage their digital identity without the right technologies and framework in place to support them. As we head into 2022, the onus will be on organisations to make sure they provide customers with the right technology and education to manage their digital identity.

Here, we will explore the tangible ways that the tech industry can do this, while bringing consumers along with them on the journey.

Unifying log-in methods

In 2022, we can expect the desire for a common user experience across mobile and desktop to be the factor that catalyses the extinction of traditional log-in methods. Implementing a unified user experience will be more of a driver than the security benefits, both for consumers and technology organisations.

This plays a role in validating digital identity as methods of authenticity presented on mobile and desktop will become more aligned and similar in their offering across channels. We can expect to see two different types of adoption models – the widespread use of native biometrics on both mobile and desktop browsing, and passive mechanics such as behavioural biometrics.

This will result in the customer being able to log-in across mobile and desktop using a single username. While in the background, organisations will be able to see how users behave on different types of devices at different times of the day. They can then use this information to build a better picture of their behavioural biometrics, which can be used to make their online experience more secure.

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New adoption techniques to recover digital identity

Although the passwordless log-in experience has been challenged by the ubiquity of traditional log-in methods, next year we can expect to see technology companies using passwordless adoption techniques to implement more secure controls across account recovery journeys.

One example of this is social based account recovery mechanisms. This would involve an individual signing up for a service, for example banking, indicating who their trusted friends and family are, and using this network to identify themselves if they lose their password.

Placing the responsibility of authenticating digital identity on the individual consumer will start to develop trust between them and tech companies, because they are putting the consumer in the driving seat of managing their digital identity.

AI will be used to authenticate identity management

Over the last few years there have been many products that are being developed with the notion of orchestrating identity access management. This involves applications that allow organisations to manage business logic around factors such as how customer journeys should be handled, what third party systems should be called, and setting conditions about what should happen along the business journey.

The current benefit of orchestration is that it allows companies to manage identity access in one location, but the next evolution of that is going to be the application of AI within the process of authenticating identity management. This means that rather than having to review the above factors manually, companies will set certain boundaries and let the system decide for them within those boundaries.

This will really start to drive efficiencies when it comes to the cost of operations of systems in enterprises. It will also allow for systems to make learned decisions dependent on the risk appetite and cross-considerations a modern enterprise wants to design for their identity access management systems.

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Viewing digital identity through a lens of transparency

This all ties into the conversation around user ownership of data which will continue to be a talking point in 2022, because the public will require transparency around how their data is being managed.

We have seen an increase in mistrust towards technology over the pandemic due to factors such as misinformation and fake news. Consumers understand the importance of their online privacy and want to know what companies are doing with their data.

With the public becoming increasingly aware of who has the rights to their digital identity, next year we will see social based account recovery mechanisms offering consent management. This will mean that an account or identity on an account will be something you can manage and treat as a tangible thing.

Written by Stuart Dobbie, senior vice-president of innovation at Callsign

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