China has unveiled plans to conduct trials for a real-name verification system utilizing blockchain technology. The Real-Name Decentralised Identifier (RealDID) system, launched by China’s state-backed Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) and the Ministry of Public Security’s First Research Institute, aims to allow internet users to log into online platforms without revealing personal information such as phone numbers. Anicert, a subsidiary of the research institute, will issue, manage, and verify user identities through its Cyber Trusted Identity (CTID), which is already employed by banks and institutions for verifying Chinese identities.
The RealDID system, designed to eventually cover all 1.4 billion Chinese citizens, is expected to roll out gradually, with 5 million RealDIDs projected to be issued in the next year across various pilot projects. The system operates within China and is not accessible to internet protocol (IP) addresses outside the mainland.
Using public key infrastructure (PKI), the RealDID system allows users to store public cryptographic keys after real-name verification through the CTID system. The verification process involves a “three-factor verification process” that checks a user’s government ID, legal name, and facial recognition. Once verified, users can create multiple public-private key pairs for use across different platforms, logging in with an anonymized Decentralized Identifier (DID) address.
The system aims to enhance user privacy by storing personal information with a “national regulatory organization,” providing government access if needed, but keeping it concealed from companies. This approach aligns with Chinese law, which requires online accounts to be tied to some form of real-name identification. The RealDID system seeks to address privacy concerns associated with the prevalent practice of linking accounts to social media platforms like WeChat.
BSN emphasized the need to establish a robust mechanism for protecting personal privacy data in the digital era. The RealDID system is positioned to offer individuals control over their data and determine access rights through encryption methods. Despite potential concerns about government access to personal data, the system's proponents argue that user authentication is a necessary government function.
While not directly linked to government efforts to commercialize data through exchanges, officials suggest that the RealDID system could contribute to protecting user data in such use cases. The system aims to facilitate secure and compliant release of personal data elements, promoting business collaboration, data sharing, and compliant authorized use of personal data.
The launch of the RealDID system reflects China's ongoing efforts to leverage blockchain technology for various applications, showcasing the potential for increased data security and privacy in digital interactions.
By fLEXI tEAM