Avast to acquire self-sovereign identity firm Evernym

Avast antivirus software on a smartphone
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Avast has signed a definitive agreement to acquire self-sovereign digital identity expert Evernym.

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

Besides enabling the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass, Evernym's technology supports Bonifi's MemberPass solution for community financial institutions.

A decentralized or self-sovereign identity model gives users full control over their information, allowing them to choose what information they share and with whom, eliminating the need for passwords, individual accounts, and other forms of authentication that are susceptible to hacking, phishing, and interception.

This way, users' data is protected from being monetized by third parties, compromised by hackers, or abused by analytics companies.

Evernym CEO Steve Havas 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 decentralized 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."

Notable verifiable credentials solutions from Evernym include Verity, Connect.Me, and Mobile SDK and White Label App.

The Avast-Evernym acquisition deal is slated to close by mid-December and the general availability of Evernym-based products is scheduled for 2022.

Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek 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.

"Decentralized digital identities are a key component of that vision. Adding Evernym's groundbreaking self-sovereign identity technology to our offering enables us to address this area and is a huge step forward in the realization of a digital world where decentralized, portable identities are available universally and globally."