The Passport is a comprehensive self-sovereign identity solution designed to give people complete control over the sharing of their sensitive identification data. With an open-source beta version already available and a series of planned updates for the future, we’re building the Passport as a trust-minimized digital identity hub with privacy, security, and convenience at the center of the design. The Passport will be offered completely free of charge.
What is self-sovereign identity?
The central idea behind self-sovereign identity is that individuals should have the right to control their own personal data and to consent to claims made in relation to that data.
According to the current data management paradigm, sensitive personal information is floating around the web, spread around the globe and servers and databases that are vulnerable to theft and abuse. While the UN Declaration of Human Rights grants all people the right to sovereignty and privacy, we have yet to fully realize these rights in terms of personal data.
Self-sovereign systems invite us to redefine the concept of identity for the digital age, removing vulnerable centralized gatekeepers of private data and replacing them with immutable cryptographic protocol.
When a conflict arises between the needs of identifying parties and the rights of individual users, self-sovereign systems err on the side of the freedom and rights of the individual over the needs of external organizations and forces that may have malicious intent or incentives that do not align with the wellbeing of the individual.
In order for self-sovereign ID to be successful, institutional partnerships will be necessary with organizations that can verify the data being entered into the passport and help promote adoption and acceptance.
How will the Passport be used?
On the Zulu Republic platform
The Passport will be used within the Zulu Republic Pay platform to designate verified ‘citizens’ of Zulu Republic. People who hold a Passport will then be granted special rights on the platform, such as receiving 5% rewards on purchases made with merchants verified by the platform, as well as certain voting rights (these features are still under development).
Currently, users are required to complete separate KYC processes with each different KYC-requiring service they apply for. Not only is this an inconvenience, it provides more opportunity for the theft and abuse of their personal data.
With the Zulu Passport, a firm that validates customer data can provide their customers with a signed claim that they satisfied KYC requirements. This could then used for multiple applications that need KYC instead of completing the KYC process for each one separately.
We also plan to adapt the Passport into a solution for humanitarian aid and migrant identity needs. It can be particularly helpful in cases of regimes that are repressive or antagonistic towards their citizenry, and in cases of conflict, displacement, and human trafficking. Physical identification documents are losable, forgeable, revocable, and exploitable, and many displaced people around the globe have no access to one at all, hindering their search for asylum and making them vulnerable to human trafficking, forced labor, and sexual exploitation.
In the case of refugees and other disadvantaged populations, self sovereign ID can be helpful not only in terms of verifying their identity (i.e. for asylum requests) but can also be used to qualify them for direct philanthropic donations.
Learn more about why we think self-sovereign identity is the future of privacy rights here.