Microsoft invests on ID products in Blockchain

Microsoft is trying to transform Blockchain's decentralized identity from an idea into a line of business.

In a white paper published this week, the Redmond company says it plans to develop two products designed to give consumers greater control over their personal data.

One such product is an encrypted personal data storage, or "identity hub," which is a combination of personal user devices and cloud storage that Microsoft would offer through its Azure cloud computing service.

Although few details are given, the general idea is that consumers will be able to store identity information in this hub and their permission would be necessary for third parties to access that information. This contrasts with the 'status quo', where the data is kept in numerous external entities and obtained regularly without the user's knowledge, the more consent.

The other product that Microsoft says it will build is a "wallet-like" application that people could use, among other purposes, to manage these permissions for their data, including the ability to revoke them when they wish.

Notably - and this is where Blockchain comes in - both products would build on the foundations of the decentralized identifiers (DIDs), a specification developed under the World Wide Web Foundation (W3C).

Seen by many in the ID community as a breakthrough, DIDs do not require a central authority because they are registered in a distributed book or other decentralized system. This means that, unlike traditional identifiers, a DID is always under the control of the user.