Denver-based Ping Identity, which specializes in intelligent identity software, made official on Oct. 6 that it is acquiring personal identity management platform maker ShoCard to bolster its security platform. 

The acquisition was first announced in March during the company’s fourth-quarter 2019 earnings call. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to Ping’s first-quarter statements, the vendor paid $4.7 million for ShoCard.

With the adoption of this technology, Ping Identity is paving the way for a new identity model in which end users are in control of the personal details they share with service providers, creating an all-around frictionless, privacy-first user experience. 

Ping CEO Andre Durand said that ShoCard brings a secure, easy-to-use solution to store and exchange personal identity data, using blockchain technology that will be integrated into the Ping Intelligent Identity Platform. Personal identity, also called decentralized or self-sovereign identity, creates a new way for consumers to safely share information about themselves to gain access services—such as opening a bank account, refinancing a mortgage, buying a car, starting a new job and more — without having to share more personal information than necessary with a service provider.

Identity wallet included

Ping Identity’s new personal identity solution includes an identity wallet which represents a privacy-first approach to digital interactions. It contains sharable, validated claims from which users can select to share for a particular vendor, partner or resource. These validated claims could be from a driver’s license, passport, university transcripts, employment verification, vehicle registrations or bank account statements, and used in limitless scenarios. 

Companies can share validated claims with the individual—proof of employment, proof of vaccination, proof of educational accomplishments and other claims—which the individual can in turn conveniently share with others. 

In addition to the security and privacy benefits, this model improves the user experience on both the consumer and service provider side by accelerating and automating identity processing, the company said in a media advisory.

The future of personal identity

A personal identity model is long overdue in today’s market, Ping said. Pew Research reported that 70% of Americans believe their personal data is less secure now than it was five years ago, and 84% say they want more control over how their data is being used. Durand said that Ping’s personal identity model will address these concerns and empower businesses to differentiate themselves in a world where privacy and convenience are highly valued.

“Decentralized identity and the renewed interest in protecting privacy and data ownership (and monetization) will be transformational. There is a reasonable indication that the winners in the next decade will be those that figure out the new formulas for adopting a decentralized identity. This will unlock a large market opportunity for digital business” wrote Homan Farahmand, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner in its January 2020 Guidance for Decentralized Identity and Verifiable Claims report.

“Personal identity is the next wave of the identity security evolution, representing a boon for business and consumers alike. Under this model, businesses can avoid storing sensitive data and the risks that come along with it, while customers can avoid sharing unnecessary personal information with service providers, ultimately creating a more trusted online experience,” Durand said. “Issues of privacy and mistrust are addressed when individuals can pick and choose what personal information to share with organizations to validate a fact about themselves. ShoCard’s best-in-class technology allows Ping to greatly accelerate our mission of creating a personal identity future.”

Ping said it will be rolling out new solutions in coming months. For more information, go here.

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