Current definition

Centralized identity system architecture

A centralized identity system is one where verified credentials are stored and controlled by a single central authority, typically in a single database.

Often, they are used by governments – for example, in the case of a national ID card when all of the personal data and the administration of the identification process is managed and held by the government in one central database.

However, the concept can also apply to any system where the data is stored and controlled centrally by a single entity, e.g. a professional accreditation body or bank.

While centralized identity systems amalgamate the control of identity data under one structure, the ID artefacts they produce may still be accepted elsewhere, or used to access new forms of identification.

More around the web

"Centralized models can be divided into two. The Scandinavian and The Continental Identity models. In the Scandinavian model private companies (financial and telecom firms) provide a centralized digital identity service to interact with the government (TUPAS in Finland or BankID in Sweden etc). In the Continental model, Governments provide digital identity services to companies allowing interaction with their citizens."

Self Sovereign Identity: a guide to privacy for your digital identity with Blockchain – Alex Preukschat, Alianza Blockchain

"In centralized identity systems, a single entity acts as an identity provider that authenticates users to relying parties and transfers their attributes. These systems are often designed to streamline service delivery, enable data aggregation and provide a single view of users across multiple relying parties."

A Blueprint for Digital Identity – R. Jesse McWaters & Giancarlo Bruno, World Economic Forum

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