Sharing & Verifying Digital Credentials through Data Passporting

Sharing & Verifying Digital Credentials through Data Passporting

Hyland makes verifiable credentials available on Dataswift’s PDA infrastructure

Job applicants can soon share their private documents safely and easily with employers and recruiters, as leading content services provider Hyland makes verifiable credentials available on Dataswift’s personal data account (PDA) infrastructure. 

Currently, sharing private documents and other data securely and with full consent is difficult, costly, and time-consuming. It often relies on third parties that alienate the user from ownership of their own data. Verifiable credentials, when combined with PDAs, make it much easier for data owners to share their personal records securely online and for third parties to access and verify the documents they need. 

This initiative is a partnership between Hyland, Dataswift and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) which will initially see the building of a web-based interface enabling users to easily store and manage their verifiable credentials by uploading them to an encrypted PDA provided by Dataswift. Dataswift PDAs, which are legally owned by users themselves, are equipped with a Data Passporting function that can be called upon by any application with Data Passporting capabilities. This means users can license their data on demand, quickly and securely, to any relevant party – and revoke that license at will. 

What Is a Data Pass?

A Data Pass is an abstracted description of data that is to be acted upon: for example, if it is being ingested into an individual’s PDA or if it is shared with others. The Data Pass also describes other information about the data, such as its source and verifier. In this way, a Data Pass is a purpose-built, consolidated representation of data and metadata about an individual. It is a layer of abstraction that enables the individual to understand what data about themselves they are acquiring (importing into their PDA) and what data they are sharing, and with whom. This dramatically simplifies data portability while increasing its safety and transparency. Verifiable credentials, like other types of data, can be shaped into Data Passes. 

Data Passes can be displayed by any website or application that has Data Passporting capabilities (find out more at datapassport.com). They can then be presented to any other website or application that is able to receive Data Passes. This enables recruiters and human resource departments to safely and privately verify their candidates’ credentials, whether they are graduation certificates, examination transcripts, or other qualifications. 

How Data Passporting Works

Dataswift’s Data Passporting feature enables end-to-end management of personal data in a way that puts users in control and complies with privacy regulations around the world. Data Passporting refers to the ability to generate Data Passes for users to acquire, store, share, and verify the data stated on the Data Passes. 

Any application or website can acquire Data Passporting functionality to create Data Passes. As an analogy to payment systems, think of the Data Passport as a debit card, Data Passes as the currency, the actual data as money and the Personal Data Account as the bank account in which the money sits. 

For example, a tourism application can generate visitor Data Passes, and banking apps can generate credit scores as Data Passes. These Data Passes sit in the Data Passport “tab” within an application.

Data Passes are activated by the user from within an application that supports Data Passporting. In the process of activating a Data Pass for a particular application, a PDA is created for that user that stores data exclusively for that application. That PDA is, in turn, hosted on that individual’s own encrypted personal data server. Once activated, a Data Pass displays a selection of values that may be combined into a composite value (for example, a credit score). The user can then decide whether and with whom to share that Data Pass.

Below are three examples of activated Data Passes:


Data Passes serve as a kind of anonymised profile that can be matched with offers provided by various businesses. Education Data Passes, for example, can be matched with offers from scholarship providers, educational institutions, employers, and recruitment agencies. Consumer Data Passes can be matched with offers from retailers, restaurants, or other businesses. The Data Pass owner has full discretion over what Passes are shared, with whom, at any time.


Use Case: Medical Staff Recruitment 

Recruitment agency HealthCare R Us is responsible for posting medical staff at remote locations, such as oil rigs and ships. To process the applications it receives from potential candidates, HealthCare R Us decides to accept candidate information using Data Passes. 

As a network operator, Dataswift provides HealthCare R Us with a Merchant Data Terminal, a web application that can receive Data Pass information in one of two ways: 1) in person, via a QR Code displayed on a Data Pass in the applicant’s mobile application; or 2) on the HealthCare R Us website, via an API call from the applicant’s PDA.

Using Data Passes, candidates can share and verify their educational and professional credentials with HealthCare R Us. Best of all, HealthCare R Us can direct its candidates to its employer clients to securely share the same Data Passes. This process results in dramatically simplified recruitment for the recruiter, employer, and employee.