MasterCard plans to use Blockchain to manage identity data, as the company claims that the technology could be useful for limiting the use of fake identity data within its systems.
Mastercard has recently published a patent filing, suggesting that the company is considering Blockchain as a way to protect identity data.
In the application issued by the USPU (US Patent and Trademark Office), Mastercard described a system in which a semi-private or private Blockchain would be used to receive and store identity data. Some data relating to identification may include “name, address, tax identification number” and similar.
The company claims that the technology could be useful for limiting the use of false identity data within its systems. Mastercard writes in the patent application:
“Use of a blockchain for storing identity and credential data can provide immutable preservation of such data that can provide accurate verification of such data and also prevent the manufacture of such data.”
The document also elaborates that the system would produce a “data file” for each entity. This file would be associated with a public key and a “geographical jurisdiction”. Entities would be “subordinated” with a “higher” entity that imposes a digital signature on their data files. Mastercard also explains that a “processing server hashing module” would produce an “identity value” for each entity. It would also create a block with a timestamp and a special record of the last block added to the Blockchain.
This network would be different from a public Blockchain. The Mastercard network would allow only certain nodes to send data. The authorized nodes would act to “prevent the addition of data that could compromise the accuracy of the data stored there”.
Speaking differently, the nodes approved by Mastercard are the only ones able to update identity information within the network. As with the company, the proposed system has the potential to replace other means of demonstrating the identity that could be exposed to manufacturing. The company states:
“In such cases, it may be difficult for an entity to deny a false identity, leading to an interaction with an unauthentic person or entity. Therefore, there is a need for a technical solution that provides for the immutable storage of identity data and credentials that could prevent manufacturing and inaccuracies. ”