If data is the new currency, there’s never been an easier time to "go broke."

With each new digital product entering the marketplace, new data is forming everyday. Yet, with the massive power this data holds come a number of challenges. We're referring, of course, to the heightened vulnerability around personal data and the risks associated with this vulnerability for the everyday Albertan. The mass digitization of records and services resulted in a fractured web of personal data, owned by various parties.

At ATB, we know a key aspect of embracing digital transformation means making massive strides in securing our customer’s personal data. This is why, not long ago, we made a commitment to focus on a collaborative approach to self-sovereign digital identity. As part of our work leveraging blockchain solutions to improve life for Albertans, we’re aiming to place the control of data back in the hands of those who own it - without compromising the seamless experience our customers have come to expect.

To make this happen, we brought together a diverse collection of innovative organizations from across multiple industries. Why? To create the world’s first truly decentralized, multi-sector digital credential ecosystem right here in Alberta: Alberta's Open Identity Initative (oID).

Leveraging a global blockchain protocol and establishing local best practices, oID is bringing together all of the necessary roles under the mission of providing self-sovereign identity to all Albertans. It takes credential issuers, credential verifiers, identity owners (consumers), and a behind-the-scenes army of blockchain engineers, cryptographers, and policymakers all working in unison. The initiative, driven by ATB and supported by Evernym, is committed to bringing together the province’s leading organizations to join forces in exploring how they can each engage as issuers and verifiers of digital credentials, and how doing so will add value to the citizens of Alberta and give them power over their information.

What would this look like? Imagine you’ve just relocated from Red Deer to Calgary for work. You would need to contact numerous organizations to update your address: the government, bank, registry office, utilities provider, health and life insurance providers…the list goes on. With self-sovereign digital identity, you would have your new address verified by an approved service provider and with only a couple of clicks it would seamlessly and securely update across all organizations you have a relationship with.

A wide range of sectors and organizations are already involved, including the City of Calgary, Alberta Blue Cross, Telus, SAIT, the University of Calgary and others from around the province to be announced throughout the year ahead.

Through the oID program, members are put on a personalized fast-track to building a proof-of-concept around decentralized identity, ultimately to run live pilots with real citizens later this year. The program also offers members the latest in decentralized identity tools and hands-on expert technical, regulatory, and business help, as well as access to a cross-sector community of trailblazers developing real citizen use cases.

oID is inviting new members on a rolling basis and is open to any public, private, or non-profit institution interested in making Alberta a leader in establishing a trusted digital economy. Those looking to get involved can learn more or inquire about membership by visiting aceprogram.ca.

When it comes to driving the adoption of decentralized identity, it truly does take a village. Keep up to date with all that our Innovation Lab village is up to by subscribing below.