When we consider our activity in cyberspace and even in person. The most important element is the relationships we develop.
If we consider the characteristics of a relationship, we need to think about the question from the perspective of each of the two parties.
- The relying party: be it a bank, merchant, club, government, employer, or another operator of a website or facility; are interested in serving, selling, and supporting the user
- The user: be it an individual, consumer, citizen, or employee; are interested in accessing information, exploring, shopping, browsing, communicating, sharing, or otherwise enjoying something.
A relationship can then either be enduring or can be that of a guest.
- The user wants to know if the party they are attempting to engage with is who that party claims to be. Rely party simultaneously needs to believe the individual is who they claim to be.
- What the users’ identity is or better said what attributes of the user’s identity are necessary is down to the objectives and longevity of the relationship.
Being assured of these truths is what proofing or identity verification is all about. Data privacy and the need to know then filter into the conversation. This then needs to be balanced against risks the relying party and the user are taking. This is especially important when employers are looking to recruit new employees. During the hiring process, having this sort of screening is important to establishing the candidate’s qualifications as well as creating a safe and secure work environment.
With all of this in mind, each party can decide what level of identity verification is required. This task is all about how one balances privacy, convenience, security, and risk.