The Race to Digital Identity – Building Trust as the World Turns Digital

September 23, 2021 by Editor

The way we identify ourselves is ever-changing. The growth of the digital world has played a huge role in this. Identity used to be based on basic information: phone numbers, driver’s license information, information in a telephone book, etc. Now, as our world is moving more towards online preferences due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and people are identified by cookies, website preferences, usernames, and other identifying factors on their devices. As identity races towards a more digital perspective, we must be wary of how we can use this information to provide better customer experiences and how it can easily be stolen and taken advantage of.

Experian held a special series as part of our DataTalk podcast that focused on the importance of identity and how Experian is utilizing identity throughout of different businesses. The series also looked at how Experian is constantly innovating to ensure our technology and data are being used to create the greatest benefits for our clients and their customers.  Every week, Experian’s Director of Social Media Mike Delgado and Experian’s Social Media Specialist Destiny White are joined by data science leaders around the world for the #DataTalk podcast.

Why authentication is important

The challenge companies are facing is how to digitally identify individuals while maintaining a positive customer experience. They need to rely on new technologies including data, biometric, identity graphs and AI. Eric Haller, Experian’s EVP & GM of Identity, Fraud & DataLabs, speaks on these technologies as a guest on an episode of DataTalk. Businesses need to be able to separate real consumers from the bad guys and authenticate that they are who they say they are. Technology allows business to add secure measures that proves someone’s identity without causing too much friction. For instance, looking at information such as timing and mouse movement in an IP address will help quickly differentiate between a bot and a human.

These methods are extremely important in protecting users in their e-commerce journey, something many individuals are utilizing more than ever since the COVID-19 pandemic. Being able to authenticate who someone is helps detect suspicious activity and differentiate between a fraud and a genuine identity, eventually protecting consumers from stolen information and the destroying of credit as well as the ability to take out loans.

Using a layered approach to verify identities                                                                            

Kathleen Peters, Experian’s Chief Innovation Officer of Decision Analytics in North America, discusses in her episode of DataTalk how Experian helps protect consumers and businesses from fraud. She explains that identity is dynamic and the information that makes us who we are is always changing. In the past, people were identified by PII (Personally Identifiable Information). Now, we rely on information such as usernames and passwords, cookies, websites visited, and online preferences to create one’s identity.

Due to this shift, Peters highlights the importance for businesses to build trust with customers. Because fraudsters have more access to credentials, businesses need to put the right advanced analytics and technology in place to validate and protect identities. Fraudsters are motivated and organized, therefore businesses need to use technology to stay one step ahead. The best thing businesses can do is to implement a layered approach so that they can have the right tools for the right time and apply the right level of authentication. Since our digital-first world is here to stay, businesses must ensure that they have the right tools in place to be agile in how they continually adapt and interact with consumers who are open to more practical means of security.

How identity plays a role in healthcare 

Once trust is established and technologies that assist in authentication are utilized, many industries could benefit such as the healthcare industry. This industry has been under attack during the COVID-19 pandemic and it is important more than ever to avoid making identification mistakes.

Karly Rowe, SVP of Patient Access, Identity, and Care Management Product at Experian Health, explains as a guest on DataTalk that data and technologies from Experian have been used to identify patients more accurate than ever, schedule appointments easily and even assist in contact tracing of COVID-19. This is done by using powerful data to fill in information on patients in order to authenticate them as well as find and contact them regarding any exposure to this virus.

What marketers and advertisers can do with data and identity

On top of contributing to the healthcare industry, Experian has also been using data and technology in the marketing industry. Data, analytics, tools and software are being provided to marketers and advertisers to deliver relevant messages to customers across their most preferred digital channels. Genevieve Julliard, President of Experian Marketing Services, explains in her DataTalk episode how identity is becoming more important than ever with the elimination of third-party cookies.

Experian is embracing diversification of new identifiers across the information ecosystem to combine offline and online identity and data assets. With this approach, Experian is able to assist marketers by providing them with a clearer view of their customers across the buying journey and seamlessly deliver relevant content across all digital devices.

No matter where the digital world takes us and what it means for identity, Experian is always embracing technology in order to keep up with the needs of its consumers. We use data and the most advanced technologies to confirm individuals, which makes us a leader in identity verification.