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Good ID at Gravity: Private and Secure Data Sharing for Everyone, Everywhere

The Gravity team share their thoughts on what constitutes good ID

About Gravity

Gravity’s digital identity solutions empower individuals at the bottom of the pyramid to build trusted digital identities that are private, portable, and persistent. Gravity’s cloud platform allows individuals and small businesses to bring together verifiable data about themselves into a digital wallet. With this secure digital wallet, Gravity users can safely share this data with organizations to access key services including humanitarian aid, financing, and educational resources to accelerate their path towards financial inclusion.

Gravity is a trusted, human-centered company with a small but dedicated team from seven different nationalities based in Nairobi, Kenya, and Paris, France

We believe that having a diverse staff based directly in the communities we work with is key to ensuring that our digital identity solutions meet the needs of the individuals and organizations we support.

In addition to working with major international organizations, Gravity is building its own applications that incorporate decentralized identity.

In spring 2020, we were one of only two solutions to receive the “Good ID” certification from ID2020, proving that our platform corresponds to the highest privacy standards in the field. We have also signed a partnership with PwC France and East Africa to collaborate on digital identity.

Gravity's vision for a Good ID

For Gravity, a 'good identity' is one that is inclusive while upholding users' privacy and security.

To realize our vision of good identity, we have been actively testing and deploying our solutions in low-tech settings. Last year, Gravity worked with the United Nations to bring its Verifiable Data Exchange product to Syrian refugees in Turkey. Earlier this year, individuals without an official ID used Gravity's Identity Wallet Application to access cash transfers as part of a COVID-19 relief program led by the Kenya Red Cross.

These deployments demonstrate how Gravity's products can be used in settings with low connectivity, literacy, and device access. All without compromising users' security and privacy

Ensuring Good ID from technology to design

Gravity's products realize the vision of good digital identity by leveraging a combination of technologies that ensure privacy-by-design and protection-by-design. At the core of our platform are two storages:

  • Verifiable Data Registry for public information (built on the Tezos blockchain)
    Only users' public keys and Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) are stored on the blockchain. No personal data/personally identifiable information is stored on the blockchain, upholding users' Right to be Forgotten and safeguarding their privacy.
  • Decentralized Credential Repository for private credentials
    The credential repository is a decentralized storage vault that stores users' credentials. The credential repository offers a high degree of protection for user data through authentication, encryption, and redundancy.

In addition to the technology in itself, we realize our vision of inclusivity and security through:

  • Human-centered design
    Before launching any product, Gravity conducts rigorous user-testing and consultations to make the user experience clear and intuitive.
  • Adaptable user interfaces
    We strive to make our products accessible to all users regardless of the type of device they possess. Our Identity Wallet Application is made for use on smartphones, but also accessible via a Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) interface for those with basic/feature phones.
    For those without phones, secure physical tokens are used to perform identity transactions.

Gravity is also building a new product which uses its decentralized identity stack to provide affordable loans to small business owners in Africa. With this, we aim to further our vision of good digital identity by making access to finance safe, affordable, and inclusive.