The Benefits of Sharing Personal Data Safely Through Evident

April 11, 2019

A June 2018 study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that 93% of 771 survey participants felt comfortable sharing their personal data in the name of science, discovery, and innovation, so long as their data was adequately protected.

Such a large percentage might seem surprising at first glance, but upon closer look, the findings were reasonably congruent with today’s digital mindset.

23andMe, for example, has progressed from a simple genetic testing service into a robust genetic and ancestry research company, giving customers the option to receive updates and participate in quizzes that enable important contributions to genetic studies long after they mail back their saliva sample.

We live in a time where the increasing demand for digital experiences shows no sign of slowing. Information must be easily accessible, yet data privacy is of utmost concern, which is why individuals and businesses need a better way to share personal data safely.

Of course, not all personal data sharing benefits science and innovation––rather, the bulk of it is intended to qualify an individual’s access to employment, a home mortgage, a marriage license, and more. Ultimately, without the ability to retrieve data from authoritative sources, people can’t get the necessary approval to perform basic societal functions like getting a job, buying a house, or getting married.

Data attribute providers are playing an increasingly important role as human connections and experiences shift to a digital landscape. Consumers no longer expect (or want) to spend hours negotiating at a dealership when they can apply for a car loan and purchase a vehicle online in half the time, from the comfort of their living room. Authoritative data sources that can quickly and securely furnish a car buyer’s credit, financial, and employment history (among other data types that are necessary for loan approvals and vehicle purchases) are much better positioned to become trusted, reliable sources for verifiable information.

Data aggregation and management service providers can vary considerably depending on what types of data an organization or an individual requests. Examples might include:

  1. College or university data that can prove someone is a full-time student
  2. Insurance provider data that can verify if a driver/vehicle is covered in an accident
  3. Utility company data that can confirm where an individual lives or owns property
  4. Motor vehicle department data that can attest to an individual’s registered vehicle
  5. Various state boards that can validate professional licenses, certifications, and other designations (e.g. medical, legal, contractor, CPR, etc.)

Data attribute providers may not be aware of the privacy implications involved with transferring an individual’s personal data from party to party, which is why Evident exists. New global data protection regulations like the EU’s GDPR are attempting to put parameters in place to safeguard data transmission. Businesses must now adhere to new obligations that respect individuals’ privacy rights, but at the same time, they need to quickly verify that their customers, employees, and vendors are who they claim to be.

How can organizations demonstrate compliance and achieve their business goals?

Evident’s Identity Assurance Platform offers a better, faster, and safer way to share personal data and is one of the few ways to reconcile the various needs of businesses, individuals, and data attribute providers.

Evident helps authoritative data sources to surface and safely distribute their verifiable data to the entities that need it, and helps smaller data attribute providers access new markets and verticals by combining their verified information with that of another attribute provider’s, thus enhancing the value for both data types. Examples of this might include:

  1. An app that aggregates home service professionals verifies a contractor’s identity, criminal history, and license, all through Evident, to provide users with access to only the most qualified, trustworthy professionals.
  2. A roommate services provider verifies property owners’ and/or roommate seekers’ identities, soft skills, and criminal, financial, and employment histories, all through Evident, to provide safer interactions and differentiate their business from competitors.

Evident’s unique distributed data model and cryptographically-enforced access controls make it the only verification solution that provides safe and secure access to verified personal data from thousands of authoritative data sources through a single API, helping businesses get the information they need without them ever having to see or handle an individual’s personal data.

Interested in partnering with Evident? Let’s talk.

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