Trusted Identity, Data Privacy,
and Disintermediation

In a decentralized ecosystem, it is necessary to develop new ways to identify and verify entities and transactions in a secure, auditable, immutable, and privacy-preserving manner. Currently, we rely on identifiers issued by centralized intermediaries to verify our identities during interactions with others. This has big consequences for our privacy, as those intermediaries cash in on our participation by collecting vast amounts of personal data and metadata.

Today, roughly two-thirds of internet traffic can be attributed to bots — software programs meant to simulate human behavior. While some of these bots were created to perform useful tasks such as indexing and automation, 39% of all internet traffic is made up of “bad bots,” whose functions include generating spam, scraping data, assisting in account hacks, sensitive data leaks, identity theft, and more.

Why is Trusted Identity Important for Connected Mobility and IoT Commerce?

As the growing Internet of Things (IoT) brings an exponential increase in digital transactions, it is necessary to develop new ways to identify and verify the entities involved in these transactions.

In light of growing cybersecurity threats, with the rise of big tech data aggregators and increasingly pervasive malware, consumers, regulators, and organizations are increasingly concerned with the ability to preserve data privacy and assert ownership over their identity and digital assets. Recent measures such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the “Three Corners” Bill, and the California Privacy Rights Act highlight the growing demand for improved data privacy around the globe.

 

In 2019, W3C published the first draft of its Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) standard. The DIDs standard defined a new type of identifier: one which is universal, cryptographically protected, and which links entities to relevant attributes, characteristics, and capabilities.

Rather than being issued and controlled by centralized authorities, DIDs are self-sovereign — i.e. created and managed by the entities to whom they belong (or a verified owner/controller of that entity). When anchored in a tamper-evident decentralized trust network such as the ITN, DIDs allow entities to engage in unique, private, and secure transactions using W3C Verifiable Credentials. The DIDs standard was advanced to a W3C recommendation in July 2022.

The creation of a standardized framework for decentralized trusted identity will reduce the reliance on centralized authorities and empower connected entities to own and control their data while shielding sensitive data from aggregators and bots. By enabling more secure IoT transactions, reducing the cost of trust, and opening the door to a number of multi-party applications for business automation, trusted identity promises to unlock the potential for a more robust and democratic IoT commerce ecosystem.

What is the Integrated Trust Network (ITN)?

The Integrated Trust Network (ITN) is a scalable, protocol-agnostic digital infrastructure to provide trusted identity services for connected mobility and IoT commerce.

The ITN was launched by the MOBI community and is currently being developed in collaboration with MEF, AAIS, and other consortia.

The goal is to unlock monetization opportunities across usage-based services by allowing application interoperability and multiparty data sharing, enabling participants to execute trusted decentralized transactions at the edge.

The Web3 economy is projected to be worth $81.5 billion in 2030. With increasing enterprise adoption, the technology is quickly becoming a mainstream reality. The ITN leverages W3C DIDs standard to provide a secure, decentralized, privacy-preserving framework for managing trusted identities to enable trusted transactions in the Web3 economy.

MOBI and its members are building Citopia, a federated Web3 marketplace that uses ITN core services to empower individuals and organizations to take charge of their own data, unlock multiparty business automation, and propel connected mobility and IoT commerce worldwide.

History and Motivation Behind the ITN

In 2019, MOBI released its first standard, MOBI VID, which leverages the internationally-accepted VIN Standard and W3C DIDs Standard to define a vehicle’s Self-Sovereign Digital Twin™, or SSDT™.

In 2020, MOBI completed a pilot with Ford, BMW, Honda, GM, and Renault to demonstrate the viability of MOBI VID. Through this pilot, it was determined that successfully executing a connected system for decentralized vehicle identity requires the creation of a federated DID registry. In response, the MOBI community began development on the Open Mobility Network (OMN) in 2020, later renamed to mobiNET in 2021. Seeking to expand the value of mobiNET across industries, MOBI began partnering with other consortia and mobiNET evolved into the Integrated Trust Network (ITN).

The ITN is a key component of MOBI’s Web3 Technology Stack, which also includes the MOBI consortium and Citopia.

Learn about Citopia
get involved
Read MOBI standards