Me: Are we capable of separating our physical me from our digital me?

Nowadays we all have a digital identity. We try to keep it more or less under control, but our daily activities leave a trace on the Internet that is irrevocably connected to our physical identity and that encompasses our personal or professional profiles, the digital content that we post, our contacts, email address and phone number, and even our electronic transactions. This trace can vary in its accessibility, but it is always there.

With the boom in personal branding, together with social and professional networks, users have started to become more aware of, and to try to exercise some control over their digital identity. They are concerned not only about their visibility on the Internet, but also their reputation and the privacy of their personal information.

But this digital identity also has, or used to have, a dark side. A person can create different identities on the Internet or assume someone else’s identity based on discovered information, or even steal personal and financial data and access to accounts and services.

In view of this fact, it should be no surprise that one of the main challenges facing the financial sector is the reliable identification and authentication of users as part of their onboarding or credit application processes, or in granting financing on the Internet.

On the one hand, financial firms want to offer their customers the security and trust that are required in any transaction process. On the other hand, identity fraud can amount to yearly losses equivalent to 1% to 4% of their sales volume.

But digital identity is precisely what makes it possible to conduct ever-more-precise and seamless comparisons between the physical person and the digital person, offering a much more reliable form of verification.

The new solutions are not limited to authenticating a document and its security measures and then matching the document with the individual. We can now use liveness testing to check whether a person really exists, through the use of a liveness filter that can distinguish between a real person and a photograph based on certain movements.

But the year 2017 promises even greater capabilities: we will be able to verify that the telephone and email provided by the user actually work, and these can then be geo-located in order to detect, through the use of a complex algorithm, transactions that are illogical or inconsistent. For example, it would be anomalous for a person whose identity is grounded in Guadalajara to be recording hundreds of ordinary transactions in New Zealand.

In addition, using a social network SNA) analysis system, we can determine whether a given profile exhibits abnormal activity parameters.

As a result, a person’s digital identity no longer represents a breach of security, but rather becomes something that the user can more easily monitor to protect his own reputation and privacy, and a tool for companies to prevent bank fraud and identity theft.

The Me project, created by ICAR and FacePhi, and which will be introduced at the next MWC 2017 in Barcelona, is based precisely on this new concept of a seamless connection between one’s real and digital identities as a way to streamline, facilitate, and accelerate operations of all kinds. A new and revolutionary model for digital banking.