Avast to acquire self-sovereign identity expert Evernym

Consumer trust in the online world has been compromised, and in order to help this issue Avast is to acquire self-sovereign identity expert Evernym

Avast, a FTSE 100 company and leader in digital security and privacy, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire self-sovereign digital identity expert Evernym.

Keeping personal information out of centralised databases, Evernym's approach to digital identity offers individuals greater control over their digital footprint. 

The US company was instrumental to the invention of self-sovereign identity, with leading contributions from their Chief Trust Officer, Drummond Reed, and others in the company working within the industry standards community. This work has enabled the development of innovative products and services based on decentralised digital credentials, leading to a more trustworthy online experience.

Awarded 'Technology Pioneer 2021' by the World Economic Forum, Evernym is already embedded in industries such as travel and finance where Evernym's technology is at the heart of the IATA (International Air Transport Association) Travel Pass, and also powers Bonifi's 'MemberPass' solution for community financial institutions.

Ondrej Vlcek, CEO Avast, said, "Consumer trust in the online world has been critically compromised. Over 60% of the world's population has internet access today yet we don't have adequate provisions in place for these people to prove who they are online. The result is that identity theft, online fraud and account takeovers are growing rapidly, as does mass-scale digital tracking and surveillance. Our vision for digital freedom is to enable people to manage and retain control over their personal data so that they can interact and transact safely, privately and with confidence."

 

Protecting consumers data 

In a self-sovereign or decentralised identity model, the individual retains all of their data and chooses what data they consent to share in any transaction and who they share it with, removing the need for passwords, individual accounts, and other traditional tools which are vulnerable to being hacked, phished, and intercepted.

This protects their data from being monetised by third parties, compromised in a breach, or abused for analytics. Giving the user control over their personal data is a critical part of rebuilding trust in digital services, and will enable growth in areas as diverse as online commerce, gig economy, travel, healthcare, and banking and finance, among other applications.

Steve Havas, CEO Evernym, said, "Since its founding, Evernym has been a major catalyst in the global movement towards decentralized identity. We have led the development of new identity standards, built the world's first decentralized identity network, and launched a globally leading platform for enabling individuals to securely share their personal information. Combining our decentralised identity leadership with Avast's globally trusted reputation for protecting individuals is a perfect combination to help bring back privacy and trust in everyone's digital interactions everywhere, every time."

The acquisition is expected to close in mid-December and the general availability of the products based on the Evernym technology will follow in 2022.

 

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