In a few years, internet trolls have gone from being annoying, to being malicious destroyers of lives, to now state-controlled destroyers of democracy. Hiding behind fake accounts, anonymous users may be the malicious teenager in your neighbor's basement or Russian troll farms. For years, there have been efforts to rid the internet of them. They've failed. Now, Authenteq has a new, novel service, called Trollteq, for online services to exterminate trolls that just might work.
Autheneq's answer is to create a unique online identity based on their Authenteq ID program. This enables users to create a verified online identity, based on their government ID and biometric facial recognition, in under 90 seconds. It's similar in concept to Norway, Iceland, Estonia, and Spain's national electronic IDs (eIDs). The first two implementations were led by one of Authenteq co-founders.
Instead of using eIDs face-to-face audit, which requires you to leave your home and travel to a government office to sign-up, Trolltec relies on state-of-the-art "liveness" detection, facial recognition, gov-ID data extraction, and verification. Liveness is a new identification technique, which tries to make certain a person really is present online and not just an automated bot.
According to Authenq CTO, Adam Martin, "the unique combination of facial biometrics and our tamper-evident analyses enables 100-percent automated online ID assurance to the level that online services need today. We are utilizing the tamper-proof benefits provided by our private blockchain ledger where only hashes are stored and we can anchor transaction hashes into any distributed blockchain ledger. Our unique architecture allows us to be GDPR compliant and have the tamper-proof benefits. Any personally identifiable user information is user controlled and stored, creating a truly self-sovereign identity."
Martin continued, "We utilize the tamper-proof benefits provided by our private blockchain ledger where only hashes are stored and we can anchor transaction hashes into any distributed blockchain ledger. Any personally identifiable user information is user controlled and stored, creating a truly self-sovereign identity."
For a website or online service, you verify yourself by making "claims." Claims can be parts of the identity (name, age, nationality, etc.) or just the fact that the person exists (aka is a real person). The claims will be matched against the hashed values and validated.
The site doesn't know who you are. Authenteq doesn't know who you are. Trollteq doesn't save any data whatsoever about the user, so there's no threat of a database breach leaking your information. Instead, your personal data in encrypted within the Authenq blockchain. The only thing a service, site, or Authenq knows is you're a real, singular person. This process blocks fake accounts and introduces troll control while maintaining your anonymity.
After signing up with the service, it should take users under three seconds to connect their ID to a new or existing online profile or account without using a password.
"The sad truth is that trolls have taken over a large swath of the internet -- our mission is to remove their greatest asset -- their ability to hide behind fake names and identities, while still protecting their identities and freedom of speech," said Authenteq's Kári Thor Runarsson, CEO. "Any website or commenting system such as Disqus can instantly add Trollteq to their site or customers. We can scale up to a billion identity authentications in under 90 seconds. This means we are robust enough to handle even Twitter or Facebook user IDs."
This will it work? Stay tuned. Those are big promises.
Also: Internet trolls, ranked by state TechRepublic
That said, Trolleq sounds promsing. There's certainly an urgent need for a real identification and authentication system that can lock out the fake "people" and trolls. They have not only made online life unpleasant, they're actively damaging all of society.
To see it for yourself and see if it can help your online presence, drop this international company a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.