December 1, 2023

Deep-fake know-how, knowledge hacking, and the rise of synthetic intelligence have made it easy for dangerous actors to create pretend identities for nefarious functions, corresponding to impersonating somebody on a job interview, making use of for a checking account, and even ordering an alcoholic beverage illegally.

Dentity, a Santa Monica-based identification credentials platform, is trying to seize this subject as a possibility. The corporate just lately partnered with Woodland Hills-based Shopper Legal professional Advertising Group, an promoting company for the authorized trade, to assist the legislation companies and attorneys discover higher methods to authenticate shoppers when initiating circumstances. Dentity’s know-how creates digitalized ID credentials which are supposed to let companies higher confirm job candidates and prospects, and provides shoppers extra management and energy over the distribution of their private knowledge.

“(We’re) leveraging the facility of the blockchain, and giving shoppers management over their identification info,” Dentity founder and Chief Government Jeffrey Schwartz stated. “That’s confirmed to be actually an extremely great tool for shoppers … this concept that you simply confirm your identification as soon as, after which you should use it all over the place.”

Particular person customers present Dentity with their ID info, which the corporate authenticates. It then creates a verifiable credential token that the person can use as a one-hub pockets for ID functions. These tokens can be utilized to confirm social media accounts or confirm the identification of a bank-account applicant. Dentity’s know-how might even be utilized by people to verify the identification of a potential first date.

In its partnership with the Shopper Legal professional Advertising Group, Dentity created a product referred to as CAMG Confirm, a self-service portal that provides legislation companies the power to rapidly and precisely authenticate consumer’s info when onboarding them to start a case. It’s obtainable to authorized professionals worldwide, although the lawyer advertising group’s shoppers are charged a decrease charge per verification.

“There’s zero identification safeguards within the authorized trade,” Schwartz stated. “All of this mass tort enterprise is coming by digital onboarding, proper, and it’s self-attested identification. And the fact is, that simply doesn’t work anymore.”

Laborious to do

Steve Nober, founder and chief govt of CAMG, stated that corroborating identities turns into tough throughout massive mass torts circumstances, during which there could possibly be greater than 100,000 plaintiffs. Nober added that there isn’t a constant or dependable normal for the way new authorized shoppers ought to show their identities, which may turn out to be an enormous downside when legislation companies usually are not really assembly these people in individual. Some circumstances require shoppers to obtain notarized proof, whereas others could merely ask for a photograph ID or signature. Throughout mass tort circumstances, nefarious people could fraudulently join as plaintiffs to get a test if the case is profitable.

“A giant a part of our enterprise is to assist originate these circumstances, discover victims which are everywhere in the nation, perceive what the factors is that might have them qualify for a plaintiff agency to tackle the case,” Nober stated. “(It hit me) that nowhere alongside the best way is there … a course of to establish these persons are who they are saying they’re.”

Whereas fraud isn’t rampant, he confused, the authorized trade is probably not as superior as another industries concerning identity-certification protocols.

“A quick, straightforward, low-cost approach to simply be sure that these persons are who they are saying they’re is required,” Nober stated. “For us, this was proper in our candy spot. It could make sense for the legislation companies that know us that we’d be delivering a portal like this, the place we’re making it very straightforward and cost-effective to do an ID confirm.”

Dentity had a February seed funding spherical led by Blockchange Ventures and AARP. AARP was particularly excited by its know-how for its potential to scale back the prevalence of elder fraud by permitting individuals weak to scams to raised confirm the identification of caregivers or service suppliers. Schwartz stated that the aged are sometimes extra trusting of strangers and might be much less skilled with know-how, making them simpler targets for scammers.


Different corporations that supply digital ID credentials embody Plaid and Veriff. Whereas verifiable credentials have a wealth of potential makes use of, corresponding to opening a checking account or signing a contract, there has not but been a mass motion to undertake them and they don’t seem to be thought-about a authorized type of ID in most states.

Schwartz stated that one main flaw with trusting self-attested identification is the huge quantity of identification theft. In response to Javelin Technique & Analysis, identification fraud impacted 42 million U.S. shoppers in 2021. Verifiable credential tokens additionally let shoppers keep away from submitting delicate identification knowledge throughout totally different web sites and provides them management over how lengthy private info stays accessible.

Barath Raghavan is a professor of laptop science at USC Viterbi School of Engineering in addition to the co-founder of Invisv, a pc and community privateness firm. He stated that giving customers management over their on-line IDs and the best way third events can entry them is efficacious to defending person privateness whereas additionally enabling the safety of on-line companies.

“Verifiable credentials usually are a great way to keep away from presenting one’s complete ID info to a 3rd occasion whereas nonetheless permitting that third occasion to confirm key items of the ID,” Raghavan stated.

Different companions

Dentity additionally introduced a partnership in March with venue and competition collective Advert.Ventures. It kicked off at this 12 months’s SXSW competition and allowed attendees to make use of Dentity credential tokens when buying alcoholic drinks; the consequence was shortened traces and document alcohol gross sales, together with a lower in the usage of pretend IDs.

Schwartz stated that Dentity issued 77,000 credentials in a single week at SXSW. It will likely be partnering with a number of new occasion venues in June, together with one “main” venue in L.A. that Schwartz declined to call. He stated that with these partnerships, venues that settle for digital credentials can significantly enhance the comfort and expertise of a buyer’s time at an occasion and may streamline their very own operations.

Verifiable credential tokens are utilized in different situations to supply proof of a social media presence or of an internet interplay with a person or advertising marketing campaign. On the occasion facet, these credentials might be hooked up to a competition ticket to show attendance.

“When you’ve gotten a ticket sitting in your Apple pockets, you stroll in and scan the ticket, and the ticket dies,” Schwartz stated. “With a Web3 credential, that stays in your Apple Pockets and you should use it to go do issues within the metropolis or unlock presents on-line.”

Schwartz added that Dentity doesn’t cost people something to create and make the most of a credential token. With verifiable credentials, the holder will take their token to an organization or entity that’s requesting proof of ID. That firm or entity will then pay a small price to verify the token’s veracity and authenticity with the issuer of the credential: on this case, that’s Dentity. This course of saves corporations cash as a result of they’ve to verify the credibility of the Dentity ID solely, quite than undergo a full ID test throughout onboarding.

“This new identification mannequin offers monumental energy to a shopper,” Schwartz stated. “It’s extra non-public, it’s safer, extra privacy-respecting … it’s a greater type of identification, and it prevents this fixed repetitive course of that we at all times need to undergo of giving extra of our private info to extra web sites.”