Identity and the Metaverse: Distributed Management

Identity and the Metaverse: Distributed Management – Mail Bonus


“The Metaverse” and “Web3” are the buzzwords of the moment, as their concepts permeate the worlds of fintech, blockchain and now even the mainstream media. As decentralization is considered to be the core of Web3 Metaverse, the promise of a better user experience, security and control for consumers is what drives its growth. But with users’ identities at the heart of Metaverse, along with unprecedented amounts of data on the Internet, there are concerns about data security, privacy and synergy. This tends to hinder the development of Metaverse, but both a controlled and an independent sovereign identity could play an important role in ensuring that we truly have our identity and data within this new space.

Connected: Digital Sovereignty: Recover your private data in Web3

What is Metaverse?

Although the idea for Metaverse existed for a while, it was recently brought to the fore when Mark Zuckerberg chose to rename his company “Meta” (to the frustration of many in the blockchain community!). As the digitalization of many aspects of our lives has already begun, many argue that Metaverse will affect everyone’s future and that the way we communicate with technology will change dramatically.

There is a lot of controversy about what Metaverse will look like and consist of, but it is considered to be catchy for many interpretations as Metaverse will repeat the physical world in a digital context and make similar interactions as we experience in our daily lives. Theoretically, it will cover augmented reality, the digital economy and Web3.

Connected: How NFT, DeFi and Web 3.0 are intertwined

Incorporation and identity

Metaverse offers an infinite number of opportunities for people and companies from different sectors and different needs. It was recently revealed that one of the biggest changes within Metaverse is inclusive education, which means that anyone with access to the internet can take advantage of it. This means that 1 billion people worldwide who are currently without banks can finally access the world economy through Metaverse.

In particular, digital identification will be at the core of Metaverse, from digital avatars to customization using augmented reality to the ability to book a restaurant automatically online. It will give people of all genders, ages and backgrounds the opportunity to express themselves in a new way and will allow new types of communication and communities to emerge online. In this context, some argue that it is considered a safer space for each person to thrive compared to the real world. However, with more data than ever being stored online comes concern for its trust and privacy.

Connected: The creative economy will explode in Metaverse, but not under Big Tech

Distribution of power and control

Blockchain technology using distributed models will support Web3 and Metaverse, which are predicted to offer a new level of openness. Web2 tends to be seen as a centralized technology company that collects user data, and this approach has been criticized for monitoring and abusing advertisements. On the other hand, Web3 will be the opposite, which will empower everyone involved, with users owning their digital assets, personal data and identities.

However, with such a huge number of players involved in creating and maintaining Metaverse, from those who build the underlying technology to NFT creators and virtual reality and augmented reality producers, as well as the vast amount of sensitive information online, there are concerns because whether users actually have full control over their credentials. We’ve already seen the potential for damage to Facebook’s data breach a few years ago, and Cointelegraph recently pointed to a Facebook whistleblower who has already expressed concern about the privacy of users’ information shared with Meta in Metaverse.


The importance of self-sovereign identities

Foresighted technology companies, however, are one step ahead of the game. Some of them have recognized potential problems with privacy and privacy, and have begun to develop game-changing solutions to ensure distributed control and protection of users’ information. They believe that Metaverse needs to be designed according to open standards, as an independent sovereign identity (SSI) is the silver ball to deal with trust within Metaverse.

SSIs are digital identifiers that focus on verified and genuine credentials related to verification data in the real world, such as distributed statistical biometrics. Using blockchain technology and zero-knowledge proof, users can manage their digital identity themselves without relying on third parties to store and manage their data centrally. Most importantly, this information is stored permanently within a non-user-managed wallet and is temporarily accessed within Metaverse when the owner so decides. This verified data will give them access to and ownership of their assets by simply being themselves and it is believed that this will fundamentally change the way data is owned and managed by that user.

Connected: Self-care, supervision and identification: How regulators misunderstood

What role will the acquis play in this?

Nevertheless, many argue that regulation also needs to play an important role within Metaverse in giving both consumers and businesses the confidence to work in it and ensuring that their data and identities are protected.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey recently tweeted how he believes Web3 will not necessarily increase user power in the way many predict, as it will simply take that power away from the government and put it in the hands of venture capitalists or blockchain technology companies. as Meta. And that’s why we need regulatory oversight.

Many people believe that countries will need to adopt the digital economy and Metaverse to compete in the global digital and economic fields, but many of the existing regulations in place will require significant expansion to cover Metaverse. We have already seen a growing government regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in recent years, ranging from a direct ban on cryptocurrencies in China to El Salvador adopting Bitcoin as legal tender, but in terms of identification and control of data in Metaverse, there is a long way to go. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and UK data protection law could certainly play a part, but improvements are needed if we are to protect consumers and the data they provide effectively.

Connected: The new way to privacy after EU data regulation failed

It is clear that Metaverse will lead to earthquake changes, as this new system architecture is likely to disrupt people, places and economies. With the hope of a new and better experience for users that addresses the issues of today, there is also great uncertainty about the use of individual data. With the advent of new technology, considerable preparation and reflection is needed to ensure that Metaverse develops in a way that benefits everyone involved, and with a self-image at heart, these factors are more important than ever.