It looks like blockchain will play a role in an initiative by the Mobile Authentication Taskforce to help consumers create one identity with one password for all their mobile phone applications.
The group said it will deliver a cryptographically verified phone number and profile data for users of authorized applications, with their consent. Multi-factor authentication will be based on unique attributes such as a network verified mobile phone number, IP address, SIM card attributes, phone number tenure, and phone account type. In addition, advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities will be used to help assess risk of fraud and protect customers.
For their part, registered application developers will be able to submit their apps through a system using private and permissioned blockchain technology to help ensure application integrity.
The four wireless operators formed the Mobile Authentication Taskforce in September 2017 to help protect enterprises and consumers from identity theft, bank fraud, fraudulent purchases, and data theft.
Besides the desire to cut down on fraud and theft, the operators recognize that consumers are overwhelmed with keeping track of all their user name and password credentials.
The Mobile Authentication Taskforce plans to make its network-based mobile software interoperable with GSMA’s Mobile Connect secure universal login software.
“Mobile identity is key to making things simpler and more secure for consumers,” said Alex Sinclair, chief technology officer of the GSMA, in a statement. “The GSMA has been working with operators around the world to bring a consistent and interoperable, secure identity service. And this task force will strengthen that effort by enabling a simple user experience quickly and conveniently in the U.S. market.”
The work of the four operators in the U.S. follows a similar initiative launched by Korean operator SK Telecom, which deployed T-Auth, a Mobile Connect-aligned authentication platform.
The Mobile Authentication Taskforce will begin internal trials soon to test the solution. It plans to make the new authentication generally available to consumers by the end of 2018. The group will launch a website later this year for service providers and application developers to learn more about the solution.