Press release: Distilled Analytics, Shyft Network will leverage biometrics to fight identity theft, exploitation, human trafficking

Following the recent inaugural Blockchain Policy Forum held by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), David Shrier of Distilled Analytics and Joseph Weinberg of Shyft Network have announced a multi-year partnership to deliver next generation biometric identity solutions leveraging blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics to combat the expanding global issue of identity verification, theft, and fraud.

Based on July’s release of Distilled IDENTITY™, a breakthrough predictive identity solution from Distilled Analytics, in partnership with Shyft Network’s incontrovertible blockchain-based federated identity network, financial institutions, governments and others will be empowered with the next generation of efficient, transparent, and robust identity solutions. In addition to partnering to offer the next generation of identity verification, Shyft is making an equity investment in Distilled Analytics as it provides a significant level of differentiation to the Shyft ecosystem. The terms of the investment were not disclosed.

According to The World Bank, over one billion people in the world today lack a legal identity, leading to an increase in exploitation and human trafficking. The UN has set a Sustainable Development Goal to give every person on the planet an identity. In tandem, identity theft and verification continue to create systemic issues of fraud and abuse across a wide array of financial transactions. A recent study by McKinsey estimated the costs to ensure customer identity and compliance for the banking industry exceeds exceed $270 billion per year and that number is expected to continue to grow at five percent per year.

“We are experiencing a global identity crisis of epic proportions. The costs associated with managing identity and compliance in financial services alone are spiraling up despite a multi-decade effort to address the problem,” said Distilled Analytics CEO and Founder David Shrier. “New solutions, based on advanced data science techniques and machine learning innovations, are needed to not only stem the tide, but tackle the issue at the root cause. Our unique partnership with Shyft Network will help to finally deliver a reprieve from these bad actors while simultaneously creating the opportunity for greater digital and financial inclusion.”

Based on AI analytics research from MIT, Oxford, and Imperial College, Distilled IDENTITY™, applies advanced biometrics and predictive identity analytics to verify customer identity and provide superior match capabilities using new data sources and methods. Early research suggests the opportunity to improve on existing biometric technology by as many as two orders of magnitude, offering greater security, resolution, and simplicity for the end user. As per the agreement with Shyft Network, Distilled IDENTITY will be integrated into the blockchain-based Shyft Network.

Shyft Network is building a blockchain-based network to enable distributed identity verification that will drive efficiency around the very costly and cumbersome anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) compliance process. Its privacy-centric data sharing framework enables service providers in regulated industries to meet compliance standards as well as provides a way around the currently insurmountable barriers for the underbanked and unidentified global citizens to access global financial services, thus acting as a globally portable alternative to traditional credit scores. The combination of the technologies enables an additional degree of fraud protection as these citizens are brought into the global economy.

Joseph Weinberg, Chairman of Shyft, said, “Enterprise data needs are quickly evolving, and companies are seeking innovative solutions that can tackle the arising challenges around rapid data growth, data security threats, and reliable recovery systems. By leveraging a distributed network and storing a pool of attestations on the blockchain, Shyft Network can provide Distilled Analytics with the highest level of personal data protection.”