BLOK is now an official member of the leading global advocacy organisation for good digital identity. BLOK’s CTO Areiel Wolanow is appointed to ID2020’s technical advisory committee

[San Francisco, November 11, 2020] ID2020 has welcomed BLOK Solutions into their Alliance, marking yet another major milestone for the entire BLOK group. In addition to this, BLOK’s CTO Areiel Wolanow has been appointed to the organisation’s Technical Advisory Committee. BLOK reaffirms its commitment to the values and ideals behind good #digitalidentities, and will work closely with ID2020 to achieve our shared vision of a privacy-first, more equitable future.

BLOK BioScience’s BLOK Pass was the first-ever health solution to be certified by ID2020 earlier this year.

Of the partnership, ID2020 Executive Director Dakota Gruener said:

We are delighted to welcome BLOK Solutions to the ID2020 Alliance and applaud their commitment to privacy-protecting, user-controlled digital identity. We are grateful to Areiel for agreeing to serve on the Technical Advisory Committee and look forward to leveraging his extensive experience in this new role.

Areiel Wolanow’s thoughts on joining ID2020’s technical advisory committee

It great honour and delight for BLOK to be invited to join the ID2020 Alliance, and for me to have been appointed to their Technical Advisory Committee.

The experience of this year has taught us many things about ourselves and our societies, two of which in particular are seemingly contradictory:

 

  • It is very hard to ensure that people are getting the tests or care that they need without reliable records. Even in mature economies, the lack of ability to plan effectively at scale has meant our attempts to fight the pandemic have been far less successful than they might have been.
  • Despite the overwhelming empirical evidence that the best method to mitigate the impact of the pandemic is a careful combination of testing and contact tracing, people are really uncomfortable with sharing their data or allowing themselves to be tracked, even in parts of the world with more collectivist and rule-friendly cultures

The good news is that technology has evolved to the point where these learnings need not be contradictory. It is now possible to conceive of – and indeed to implement – solutions that provide the tools and visibility they need to fight the pandemic without enabling a new and far more pervasive surveillance capability than we currently have to contend with. There are of course many people thinking about this problem, and many solutions being put forward, but at the core of what makes each fit for purpose – or not – is how they handle the question of identity.

 

But as we have seen with DLT, IoT, and many other emerging technologies, the biggest barrier to convincing organizations both public and private to make good use of these innovations is that they don’t have independent guidelines to evaluate how safe they are, how well they achieve their intended purpose, or what risks they present. An independent authority on how solutions can provide identity in a way that is inclusive, privacy protecting, and self-sovereign will provide government and enterprise alike the confidence they will need to embrace new solutions, and ID2020 has the expertise, the eminence, and the focus to be that authority.

 

Much of that eminence and expertise can be found in the members of ID2020’s Technical Advisory Committee. It will be a joy to work with, to dispute with, and most of all to learn from such a distinguished group of colleagues.

Learn more

You can read the original announcement on ID2020’s Medium post.

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