The Metaverse Requires New Ways of Protecting Our Identities With Aaron Painter
October 29, 2022
VENTEUR spoke with Aaron Painter, CEO of Nametag Inc, about protecting our identities in the Metaverse. According to Painter, Nametag is the company that invented "Sign in with ID" as a more secure alternative to passwords. After watching too many friends and family members fall victim to identity theft and online fraud, he assembled a team of security experts to build the next generation of online account protection. Nametag has a mission to bring authenticity to the internet and enable people to make more trusted relationships. It believes security should be centered around you, the user, and your identity, like your privacy, is a valuable asset worth protecting.
What is Nametag?
Nametag is a modern way for companies to trust the identity of their customers online, on the phone, or anywhere. We enable companies to raise their standard for customer support, transaction authorization, and secure online access.
Our mission is to authenticate every person on their terms to build a more trusted, human internet. We believe privacy is a human right and that end-users should own their data–both fundamental to promoting safety and trust online while combating the rise in digital fraud.
What does Nametag stand for as a business?
Our mission is to bring authenticity to the internet and enable people to build more trusted relationships. Our team comprises security experts, cryptographers, engineers, and tenured business leaders.
At its core, Nametag is a more secure way to access online accounts. We invented "Sign in with ID" because trusting a username and password is not the same as knowing its owner when trying to prevent fraud.
Instead, we believe security should be centered around you. Our Multi-Factor Identity™ technology verifies your government-issued ID on your phone and matches it to a selfie so you can confirm your identity once or every time you sign in online. In addition, we enable companies to secure valuable user accounts with ID-based biometric authentication so they can provide ongoing account protection and automate account recovery or transaction authorization.
How is Nametag working within the Metaverse, and why?
The Nametag team has previously dedicated itself to providing organizations with the resources
they need to provide a secure experience to their users. Our Multi-Factor Identity technology ensures that Metaverse users are who they claim to be and tie transactions to actual people or parties. While our work was designed to fight digital asset fraud, we feel that identity will play a key role in regulating metaverses as they continue to emerge.
How will the Metaverse redefine how much we trust people online, and why?
Unfortunately, as technology firms continue to develop their metaverses, they are bound to face
bad actors and trolls who break the community's rules. To make matters worse, using realistic, next-generation technology like virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) and the transactions involved in the Metaverse's infrastructures leave users open to exploitation and companies scrambling to respond.
What identity verification concerns are present in the Metaverse, and how can we guarantee more authenticity?
There are significant risks with any online interaction.
As we begin to explore the Metaverse and its use cases, there is a substantial risk of impersonation or fraud that must be mitigated.
Imagine showing up for a Metaverse meeting, interacting with your boss's avatar, only to discover that you've divulged company information to a bad actor. This would have been averted if someone had to prove their identity securely, for instance, by validating their accounts to a government form of record.
Unfortunately, we must begin to expect the worst of people in the real world to be translated to show the worst of people in the Metaverse.
Why will a new generation of digital natives want a more secure way of confirming a person's digital identity is authentic, and how will this be achieved?
New generations of digital users have shown that while they are still susceptible to misinformation or fraud, they are embracing new technologies much faster.
At Nametag, we believe that digital natives will be more able to use their biometrics, such as face type tools or fingerprint scanning, mainly as these types of experiences are applied to more accounts and meaningful digital interactions.
How can we protect our identities in a decentralized space with limited regulations?
Solutions that can tie digital identities to their real accounts (and not another centralized data platform) will also have the infrastructure to link user activity to a natural person and provide the interoperability a Metaverse developer needs.
For example, if a user is suspended or banned from one platform, this background information may stick with their digital identity and deter malicious actors from accessing another similar platform.
How can businesses protect their digital real estate and virtual storefronts in the Metaverse?
Every business has some form of security in place. At the very least, a door lock helps determine when you are opened or closed.
With the Metaverse potentially being a marketplace, businesses will need to verify individuals at the point of transaction, and it is likely regulation will push to regulate the purchase of certain goods, lest the Metaverse follows the same path as Silk Road and other dark web marketplaces.
Essentially, the Metaverse offers a digital opportunity to know information about who is visiting your experience. Given that Facebook is entirely built on advertising and user data, it is likely that people will take the opportunity to know as much as possible about their customers.
One potential fear experts have about the Metaverse is that there could be a class system, creating two experiences: one for those that wish to remain anonymous and one that relies on authenticity.
Users will have to ask themselves which experience is better, and business owners must analyze which class is better for revenue.
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