Microsoft and Accenture reveal Global ID System that will help millions of refugees


19, 2017

Microsoft and Accenture have developed an identity prototype system which will enable legal identification to millions of refugees. This system is based on blockchain technology, so it allows multiple parties to share access to the same data with an extremely high level of confidence and security. Using this system, when a refugee arrives at a border crossing, he or she could prove that they come from a refugee camp and qualify for aid by identifying themselves using this ID system. Since it connects with existing ID systems of commercial and public entities, users can get access to their personal information wherever they are.

This whole system runs on Microsoft Azure offering global scale, flexibility and security.  The Accenture prototype is designed to interoperate with existing identity systems so that personally identifiable information always resides “off chain.” It aligns to principles of the Decentralized Identity Foundation, of which Microsoft is a founding member, and uses the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance’s private, or “permissioned,” blockchain protocol.

Approximately one-sixth of the world’s population cannot participate in cultural, political, economic and social life because they lack the most basic information: documented proof of their existence. Establishing identity is critical to accessing a wide range of activities, including education, healthcare, voting, banking, mobile communications, housing, and family and childcare benefits.

“People without a documented identity suffer by being excluded from modern society,” said David Treat, a managing director in Accenture’s global blockchain business. “Our prototype is personal, private and portable, empowering individuals to access and share appropriate information when convenient and without the worry of using or losing paper documentation.”

“We believe that identity is one of the most important needs in international development and an area where Microsoft and the private sector are uniquely positioned to contribute,” said Yorke Rhodes, global business strategist at Microsoft. “We are thrilled to work with Accenture and bring Microsoft Azure’s global scale, flexibility and security to support ID2020 and make progress on this critical societal need.”

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