Today, online identities are both more important and more vulnerable than ever before. Designing robust platforms that protect consumers’ most sensitive information is both critical and an exciting opportunity for companies with innovative technology solutions.

The importance of digital identity sovereignty, and the opportunities in this growing space, was the topic of a fireside chat by Roland Adrian, CEO of Verimi, and David (Dede) Goldschmidt, Vice President & Managing Director at Samsung Catalyst Fund, at the NOAH Berlin Conference 2019, held June 13 – 14.

Bringing together European CEOs, executives and investors across segments driven by the digital revolution, NOAH offers a series of events with an annual cadence, held in Berlin, London and Tel Aviv. Future-shaping executives and investors come together at the NOAH events with a shared mission to help drive digital growth throughout Europe.

Reinforcing Commitments to Data Sovereignty

During their presentation at NOAH Berlin, Samsung Catalyst Fund’s Goldschmidt and Verimi’s Adrian provided details about both the importance of data sovereignty and some approaches to delivering it.

Earlier in 2019, Samsung Catalyst Fund announced it has invested in Verimi, a trusted cross-industry consumer identity management platform that enables digital services requiring the highest levels of identity assurance. Verimi currently supports digital identity verification and authentication, and they will be introducing new services such as qualified electronic signature of documents and payments.

“We give back data sovereignty to consumers,” says Adrian. “We do not track or sell data; our users decide for themselves with whom they share their data. Our users have one universal account for everything—be it a financial institution, a government office or their car-sharing service. With one click they can sign, register and login everywhere at their own choosing.”

“Samsung is pleased to support companies that share our vision and commitment to empowering consumers and protecting their identities,” says Goldschmidt. “There is a significant opportunity for Europe to regain identity sovereignty via a strong European-based digital identity platform. Verimi has the potential to provide such a platform, strengthening personal data protection across Europe.”

Samsung believes that to truly secure and protect digital identity, our most sensitive credentials should be held by the consumers themselves, in their pockets, and not on a remote server. “We believe that the highly secured environment of the smartphone could hold in confidence the consumer digital identity,” Goldschmidt says. “Because we take our smartphones everywhere, they could serve as transaction hubs at the bank, at merchants and even at passport control.”

Consumer platforms often face a “chicken and egg” problem: Ramping consumer adoption of a new platform depends on its breadth of content and services offerings, but providers of content and services want substantial consumer adoption before it makes business sense to deploy their offerings on the new platform.

“We have a large cross-industry shareholder network consisting of 13 international companies all sharing a common goal: creating the safest and most user-friendly trusted platform for identity services in Europe,” Adrian says. Through this partner ecosystem, Verimi gains access to a huge user base for its open platform, where every participating company can use the service and become part of the network—either as an identity provider themselves or as users of identification services.

The NOAH 2019 Berlin event was well attended, with over 5,000 participants, 1,500 startups and 700 investors. With its special focus on the impact of the digital transformation on consumers, NOAH Berlin provided an enthusiastic audience for the data sovereignty ideas presented by Samsung Catalyst Fund and Verimi.

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