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Thomson Reuters patents blockchain-based identity management system

Photo: REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh

Tue, 09 Apr 2019, 04:37 am UTC

Media giant Thomson Reuters has been awarded a patent for a blockchain-based identity management system, Cointelegraph reported.

According to the document from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office dated April 2, the patent describes a system for identity creation, verification and management using blockchain technology.

“The traditional nature of some existing identities and authorization procedures presents a danger of fraud as developing technologies prove increasingly effective at counterfeiting such identities,” it said. “The large variety of identities, identity providers, and third party systems also has resulted in a highly differentiated identity environment.”

The patent highlights the need for devices, systems and methods to create, verify, and maintain identities with increased security and efficiency.

The system described in the patent involves receiving identity data from an identity provider system, generating a transaction to store an “identifier” (which represents identity data) on a blockchain, sending the transaction to at least one node of the distributed system, and generating an identity token incorporating the identifier.

The patent also explains a number of variations of this procedure wherein the transaction involves using a smart contract, the identifier is generated using a hash function, the access to the system is restricted and requires authorization, and others.

It also describes the details that can be included in the identity data. This includes an individual’s name, identification number, address, biometrics such as fingerprint, facial pattern, iris pattern, etc.

Thomson Reuters is a member of the Hyperledger project and the R3-led blockchain consortium. Its identity mapping service for Ethereum blockchains – BlockOne ID – is currently in beta. In 2017, the company unveiled a new tool – BlockOne IQ – which allows customers to plug its market data into systems that run on blockchain.

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