Far-reaching Effects of Online Identity Verification
In this era of digitalization, the need for online identity verification has become necessary for various industries and websites, especially those focused on health, finance, e-commerce, and even basic entertainment. As a definition, identity verification (in the digital space), as it relates to getting a pass to access certain information, involves the authentication of a person’s identity through various methods such as facial recognition, biometric scans, and document verification.
Identity Verification Systems Collect and Store Personal Data
While online identity verification is inherently not harmful but remarkably essential in preventing cyber fraud and securing cyberspace, it also has drawbacks. Many of these drawbacks might harm the people identity verification was originally designed to protect.
A PIA blog piece shows that age verification systems collect and store a lot of data before verifying an individual’s identity. These data include the person’s name, date of birth, addresses, internet protocol address, and even details in a government-issued document. In doing all these, the system does not exempt children; this calls for serious concern.
As basic as it might appear when all this data is collected and modeled, an individual’s digital footprint, whether passive or active, will have been reconstructed. This information in the hands of business people is mainly valuable marketing and advertising data though it is invasive. But what happens when it gets into the wrong hands? Serious concerns are being raised about how safe online identity verification is.
Loopholes in the Concept and Design of Online Identity Verification Systems
Call it failures, glitches, or errors; they are bound to happen, and most times, identity verification IT experts can’t tell when! But when these technical failures occur, they can have consequences like delays in the verification process, which can be frustrating for individuals who need to complete their verification quickly.
It is more worrisome that identity verification systems also become vulnerable when they have technical glitches. Hacking or identity theft into the system’s database is also a possibility. In the worst-case scenario, the entire system’s security might have been compromised, and valuable personal information about people could get stolen.
False Positives and False Sense of Security
A false positive happens when an identity verification system malfunctions and flags an individual as having a false identity or a potential fraudster, even though the person is genuine. This can be frustrating for individuals who must undergo a lengthy process to prove their identity.
Incognita reported that false positives could sometimes be as costly as the fraud they were instituted to prevent in the first place. They can even damage the reputation of a business and be expensive in terms of time and money lost due to their inefficiency in critical times.
On the other hand, online identity verification systems can provide a false sense of security. Though they can prevent fraud to a certain extent, even with as little as a beep or buzz, they are still not foolproof. IT-savvy criminals can bypass the identity verification system by stealing someone else’s identity, creating fake documents, or corrupting the database by creating pseudo-individual credentials primarily to commit a crime.
What is The Way Forward?
While online identity verification might be essential for a safe and secure digital world by preventing fraud, regulating access to information, and all whatnot, the opportunity cost people bear to use it as it works currently. The dangers inherent in the case of malfunction still outweigh some of its beneficial uses.
For an industry valued to be worth as much as $16.65 billion by 2026, as forecasted by Forbes, it is hoped that the identity verification technology continues to evolve, IT experts in the industry will address concerns in the system, especially as it borders on its invasive nature in accessing information, technical failures, false positives, and a false sense of security.
It has been a long time since I joined Research Snipers. Though I have been working as a part-time tech-news writer, it feels good to be part of the team. Besides that, I am building a finance-based blog, working as a freelance content writer/blogger, and a video editor.