Credentials | Digital ID | Singularity
Identity is foundational, how is it built?
For people who were born in the United States, identity isn't typically something to think about. It's a straightforward process you are born into. However, for foreigners, it can be quite challenging. I spent an hour breaking down the process, and this is what I found. My research was limited to the State of Florida, so I cannot say whether the process is the same in other states.
If you are born to foreign parents in the United States, you cannot obtain a birth certificate unless one of your parents has a state-issued photo ID. That's right, folks; you cannot receive your first piece of identification as a baby unless your mom or dad has a state-issued photo ID. I called the Florida Department of Health, and that is what they told me.
Social Security Number/Green Card/EAD/I-94
If you manage to be born and receive a birth certificate, now you have the first document you need to get the second form of identification: a Social Security number, Green Card, Employment Authorization Document, or Form I-94.
After you receive that document, you are not out of the woods yet. You still need a physical address. A physical address is obtained by filing what is known as a declaration of domicile.
The last piece of information needed to receive goods and services from civilized society is a mailing address. Once you have all four of these items, you are on your way to becoming a productive member of society. If you are missing any one of these items, your life is going to be very difficult, and more than likely, you won't be able to obtain housing on your own. Society is also trying very hard to eliminate physical currency; if that happens, people who do not have these four forms of identification will essentially become outcasts and live on the fringe of society.
With the rare exception of the Birth Certificate, obtaining a Social Security number, Green Card, Employment Authorization Document, or I-94 can be relatively easy to use in an unauthorized manner. Since the advent of databases, billions of human identities have been stolen. Hackers exploit this stolen information to commit fraud because it's easily accessible. If you send all of this personally identifiable information (PII) in an email to someone, they can take that information and use it wherever they please, as the information itself is no longer unique. Think of it like making copies with a copier. There's really no way to stop people from replicating and/or misusing your PII. This is why digital ID is dead. It was great for about 15 years until society realized they never had control of it in the first place.
This is why companies like LifeLock and other solutions have been popping up. They saw a market need for "securing" our identities. The problem is that they are not genuinely secure. They still store PII in databases, and as you may or may not know, that information is stolen in data breaches countless times. We can't solve a 21st-century problem with 20th-century solutions.
Welcome to Singularity
Singularity takes digital ID and breaks it down into its most basic components. It then validates each piece of ID with state and federal sources. If all of the information is in the correct relationship, your singularity can be created. If even one piece of that digital ID is inaccurate, a singularity cannot be created. Once the singularity is created, it can never be modified. Think of it like a mailbox you can't put mail into but can take mail out of. Singularities are read by the Mass Address Network, so databases connected to it can always have real-time identity information. In 10 years, you won't have to update multiple accounts or profiles online; you will only manage your singularity. That is the vision: a vision of Citizen Identity Management (CIM). With a CIM and the SAID Act, America will eliminate a $200 billion industry that fuels identity theft and fraud caused by the data broker industry.