On Monday, Accenture Plc (NYSE: ACN) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) unveiled their plan to build a digital ID network using blockchain technology at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Providing legal identification for undocumented citizens across the globe has become a mission for the UN under the ID2020 project, a global initiative to help these individuals, who may originate from countries torn apart by war or politics.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees currently utilizes the Accenture Platform to aid legalization for 1.3 million refugees in 29 countries. Accenture’s blockchain is a computer ledger system used to securely and privately track data. The prototype will build on this biometrics technology with Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure, as a database maintained by multiple parties without the need for a central authority.
"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," Accenture explained in a news release.
With the Accenture and Microsoft project, refugees who have left their legal identification while fleeing their countries would still be able to provide proof of those credentials through Accenture’s biometrics system (fingerprints, iris, etc.).