Sovrin Foundation Advances Robust Identity for Connected Things

October 21, 2020

New whitepaper to address identity of Internet of Things (IoT)

Provo, UT October 21, 2020 – The Sovrin Foundation, an international nonprofit providing secure and privacy-enhancing digital identity for all, today announced the release of a new whitepaper, “Self-Sovereign Identity & IoT”, highlighting the personal, business and societal benefits of high-assurance digital identity for connected devices, also known as the Internet of Things (IoT).  

Our daily physical environments are now online more than ever. More than 27 billion connected devices are actively deployed in global IoT, with a market value of over $1 Trillion projected by 2025. Today there is no good way to distinguish these devices from one another or control what each device is allowed to do, leading to critical cybersecurity and privacy issues in devices such as security cameras, heart monitors and the electrical grid.

“Until now, our main focus was on human identity, which is a massive challenge and an incredibly hard problem to solve,” said Marta Piekarska, Chair of the Sovrin Foundation Technical Governance Board and ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees. “Surprisingly things and animals got much less attention. In the connected world we live in, it actually might be a higher priority to work on SSI of things. Work done by the Sovrin Foundation SSI and IoT Task Force is an amazing first step. Sovrin is proud to be able to support this work.”

The newly released Sovrin whitepaper, “Self-Sovereign Identity & IoT”, describes these challenges and outlines how self-sovereign identity (SSI) can be applied to IoT, providing a new way to give people and organizations ownership of connected devices and their data. SSI can be applied to devices, people, legal entities and digital twins, offering a robust means of identification, authorization and authentication that works across corporate networks, geographic boundaries, device types and vendors.

“Self-Sovereign Identity & IoT” brings these opportunities to life using the stories of Bob, Jamie and Bessie the Cow, highlighting common uses and supply chain functions with IoT. The paper highlights the real-world threats they face as a result of poorly controlled machine-to-person and machine-to-machine communications and shows how SSI can help bring effective governance to these use cases, mitigating cyber risk and promoting compliance as well as increasing revenues and reducing operating costs.

“Our world is being fundamentally changed with the integration of IoT devices into every aspect of our existence—from CCTV cameras on the street to Biological IoT being integrated into our bodies,” said Michael Shea, Sovrin Foundation SSI and IoT Task Force Lead. “We are not going to avoid the intersection of these devices in our daily lives. However there continues to be serious security and privacy challenges in the sector. By giving devices a high assurance digital identity, many of these challenges are greatly reduced. Self-sovereign identity offers this potential. This is starting to get the attention of the IoT community.”

The whitepaper is also a call to action to participate in Sovrin and contribute to this critical industry effort in changing privacy and security. To view the whitepaper and learn more about participation, please visit


About the Sovrin Foundation

The Sovrin Foundation is a nonprofit organization established to administer the Governance Framework governing the Sovrin Network, a decentralized global public network enabling self-sovereign identity on the internet. The Sovrin Foundation is an independent organization that is responsible for ensuring the Sovrin identity system is public and globally accessible.

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