16 October 2014
Qiy makes people part of the digital chain
Imagine you apply for a loan. Instead of having to complete a form with your personal details, the bank requests to use your validated data. Although this may seem like wishful thinking in an increasingly digital world, in which it is difficult to control your personal data, there is a new initiative that might turn this scenario into reality: The new online standard Qiy puts the end user at the centre of the digital world again; people will regain control of their own data.
Starting in the Netherlands, the ambition of Qiy is to conquer the world with its revolutionary concept: a new standard for exchanging personal data on the Internet, in which people retain control of their own data and decide who can use them. “The concept is entirely new, so it might be hard to grasp”, said co-founder Marcel van Galen. “You could consider it to be an online virtual trust layer that can connect with websites and apps.”
Qiy aims to put an end to the complexity of online identification. Every website or service demands user data, while most users don’t know what happens with that information. Those who want to keep track of how their data is used, have to contact each individual organisation. In 2005, Marcel van Galen decided that there should be an easier way to manage personal data use in the digital world.
Safe haven in the digital world
Creating a safe haven in the digital world is an important first step: “And by this, I don’t mean having to create an umpteenth account for a service, but actually having your own domain or data intersection point. When you are able to safely access that domain, you can grant access to your personal data to third parties.”
The idea that individuals have total control over who accesses their data is really new. Users don’t have to move their data to be able to use them: the virtual layer infrastructure allows users to share data of their own choosing, whenever, wherever and to whom they like.
How does this work in practice? A growing number of organisations are linking to the trust layer and will become ‘Qiy Connected’. That means that they agree to the user terms, and the technical, legal and security conditions. Users who are linked to their personal domain in the trust layer can make a connection between their domain and those third parties that want access to their data.
The right to access any time
The secure connection gives users total control of their data: it is easy to see what personal data is available to which organisations. You also have the right to access these data at any time.
The Qiy standard can be used in each domain that requires an exchange of personal data: in the financial, healthcare, education, media and government sectors. Using Qiy, everyone can be linked to their personal salary, pension, health insurance data, etc. Qiy offers a platform for third parties to develop services and applications based on their standard.
Since Qiy facilitates the exchange of certified alphanumeric data between individuals and third parties, the connection to ‘payments’ is easy to make: after all, processing payments is also a matter of exchanging data. Van Galen: “Financial institutions are forced to redefine their roles and services, if they want to compete with current payment service providers and third party providers. Qiy offers a great opportunity for banks to move from traditional payments solutions to ‘trust services’; thus expanding the relationship with clients by facilitating a safe haven for them in a digital world. Qiy makes people a part of the digital chain, so they can act according to human standards and the norms and values that come with this.”
But for now, Van Galen is still working on the development of the standard and agreements with the Qiy Foundation. This foundation develops and controls this standard independently, whereas it is up to market parties to explore the possibilities and build applications on the trust layer.
How the standard will develop remains to be seen: the first version is planned for January 2015.