Using Blockchain for digital birth certificates

Using Blockchain for digital birth certificates

Blockchain and biometric utilization for a digital birth certificate

For the first time, IBM and Growth Tech registered the birth of a baby in Brazil on a blockchain through a biometric process. During a three-day experiment project, the birth certificate of a baby born at São José Health House in Rio de Janeiro- which had partnered with the 5th Civil Registry of natural people- was recorded on a blockchain-powered by digital registry services from Growth Tech’s notary ledgers network using IBM blockchain platform.

A birth declaration is made in the registry tool by a member of the delivery team; the person who registers the child performs biometric identity verification with facial recognition, validates personal data with official agencies, and creates a digital identity for the baby.

“The Birth Registry is used to establish an immutable audit trail of the birth registration process through several private and government sector stakeholders who are, as required by Brazilian law, responsible for one or more aspects of the registration process. To this end, the distributed ledger, which is running on the IBM blockchain platform, is used to keep a log of transactional data associated with workflow activities. The government subsidizes the initial registration process, but the local notary company can charge fees for subsequent copies of the birth certificate. These local notaries are the issuers of record of the final birth certificate, and as such, all their actions are tracked on the ledger. The government remains the responsible entity that maintains the system of record (SOR) for all citizen personal data.” IBM Trusted Identity CTO Dan Gisolfi told Biometric Update in an email.

“Although some maternity hospitals already have notary offices, the issue of a birth certificate is not that simple. In many cases, the parent has to face queues that last up to four hours, especially in public hospitals, with large numbers of births per day,” said Hugo Pierre, Growth Tech CEO, and founder. “Blockchain registration is adding several benefits to the Brazilian families, such as the agility to deliver the document to the parents on time.”

According to the announcement, the use of blockchain for newborn registration will also bring agility to normally bureaucratic processes like real estate registrations or marriage certifications as adoption increases. “Baby Álvaro’s registration is an important step for blockchain in Brazil and shows its relevance in an increasingly digital scenario,” explains IBM Brazil’s Blockchain technical leader Carlos Rischioto. “Another point is that this is a technology that can be applied in different segments, transforming the way companies and citizens relate.”

Asked about the benefit of facial recognition in the process, Gisolfi notes that the local partner implemented the biometric technology. Still, the overall goal is to save time, improve all stakeholders' experience, and increase trust in the system.

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