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We’ve all participated in the shared economy.  Who hasn’t shared a ride via Uber or Lyft or rented private accommodations via Airbnb?

According to Garrett Gafke, CEO of IdentityMind Global, the shared economy relies to a large extent on physical and digital personally identifiable information (PII). In order to access shared economy services, we’ve had to provide a variety of physical and digital information such as drivers licenses, credit card numbers, passwords, passports, emails, birth certificates and the like.

Unfortunately, seemingly daily data breaches have unlocked a mountain of physical and digital PII into the hands of well-organized and well-funded hackers and cybercriminals operating around the globe. In fact, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), at the time of this writing (December 2017), there have been over 8,100 data breaches in the U.S. in 2017 with over 1,055,000,000 records exposed.

Writing in Forbe’s Finance Council’s Community Voice, Gafke argues that digital identities are required to fight today’s sophisticated cybercriminals:

“Digital identities combine the digital and physical attributes of an individual. The resulting identity can be an evolving asset that enables better identity proofing and risk assessment. A digital identity can update at the speed of digital transactions to capture the dynamic nature of online behaviors, and those behaviors, in turn, can be used to assess the true identity and the intent of the individual. More importantly, a digital identity can ensure that we can distinguish between the real user behind an identity and a fraudster who has stolen it.”

Click here to read more on how digital identities can connect the digital and physical aspects of an identity, to enable better risk assessment and keep cybercriminals at bay.