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Advancing a Global Standard in Digital Trust with The Trust over IP Foundation

GLEIF joins a cross-industry coalition to establish a global trust standard for businesses and consumers

Author: Stephan Wolf

  • Date: 2020-05-27
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From banking to supply chain management, industries everywhere are adjusting to the digitization of processes and transactions. Start-up firms and new technologies are challenging traditional business models to move more quickly, embrace change, and think beyond conventional product development cycles. Rather than gradually enhancing existing products with new features, organizations must rethink entirely their approach to managing data and interacting with suppliers and customers.

Just as in the physical world, transacting within this new digital economic landscape requires trust and transparency. All players operating within the global supply chain need to be able to trust that the person or organization they are interacting with, is who they say they are. Identity management sits at the heart of digital transformation. Yet with an increasingly siloed digital identity management landscape, there is a risk that proprietary platforms and solutions may hamper innovation and frustrate users.

Our future economic success relies on our collective ability to establish a global standard for digital trust.

In line with this position, GLEIF is proud to be a contributing member of the Trust Over IP (ToIP) Foundation – a recently launched cross-industry coalition to advance digital trust standards and enable trustworthy exchange and verification of data between any two parties on the internet.

Hosted by the Linux Foundation, the ToIP Foundation is an independent project which brings together governments, nonprofit organizations and private sector stakeholders from the finance, healthcare, enterprise software and other sectors, to enhance universal security and privacy protocols for consumers and businesses in the digital era. The ToIP Foundation will provide a robust, common standard that gives people and businesses the confidence that data is coming from a trusted source, allowing them to connect, interact and innovate at a speed and scale not possible today.

As a contributing member, GLEIF will work alongside other leading organizations, including Accenture, BrightHive, Cloudocracy, Evernym, Finicity, IBM Security, Lumedic, Mastercard, MITRE, and many others, to advance digital trust standards in a neutral forum.

The coalition will use digital identity models that leverage interoperable digital wallets and credentials and the new W3C Verifiable Credentials standard, to enable consumers, businesses and governments to better manage risk, improve digital trust and protect all forms of identity online.

This initiative is perfectly aligned with GLEIF's strategy to promote the Global Legal Entity Identifier System (GLEIS) as a key component in the enablement of interoperable and open digital transformation. The GLEIS solves the problem of trust for legal entities on a global scale. As a regulatory endorsed system overseen by the LEI Regulatory Oversight Commission (LEI ROC), it is the only system that establishes a recognized, monitored and standardized global identity for legal entities, linked to the national ID system. The system is underpinned by open data, meaning any person or company can access the LEI and its associated reference data. Furthermore, the GLEIS bridges traditional and online processes by serving as a tool to identify the counterparty in any transaction, and can aggregate data on legal entities held in repositories.

GLEIF is already actively working to demonstrate the significant and unique value that the LEI can bring to digital ID management solution and use cases. We recently announced a collaboration with Evernym, one of the founding steering committee members of the ToIP Foundation, to demo ‘organization wallets’ to deliver trust and transparency in digital business. This proof-of-concept, which simulated a regulatory filing, demonstrated how legal entities can prove employee identity and job role with digital credentials that are anchored to the organization’s LEI in a blockchain-based chain of trust It extends the idea of self-sovereign identity beyond individuals to organizations for the first time, and was driven by the increasing digitalization of business activities and the need for enhanced transparency and trust to verify someone acting on an organization’s behalf.

We are excited to be engaging with the wider industry, through the ToIP Foundation and our other initiatives, on the advancement of digital trust. Trust is paramount within today’s digital world and we shouldn’t be afraid to challenge existing online processes for the greater good. The coalition provides a neutral environment for important conversations on this theme and will facilitate industry collaboration to create a global standard to benefit businesses and consumers.

To learn more about the ToIP Foundation, you can watch a recent webinar which features GLEIF’s Head of Standards Karla McKenna, alongside other ToIP members here.

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About the author:

Stephan Wolf is the CEO of the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF). Since January 2017, Mr. Wolf is Co-convener of the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 68 FinTech Technical Advisory Group (ISO TC 68 FinTech TAG). In January 2017, Mr. Wolf was named one of the Top 100 Leaders in Identity by One World Identity. He has extensive experience in establishing data operations and global implementation strategy. He has led the advancement of key business and product development strategies throughout his career. Mr. Wolf co-founded IS Innovative Software GmbH in 1989 and served first as its managing director. He was later named spokesman of the executive board of its successor IS.Teledata AG. This company ultimately became part of Interactive Data Corporation where Mr. Wolf held the role of CTO.

Tags for this article:
Digital Identity, Global LEI Index, Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF), LEI Business Case, Open Data