BeenVerified Berkman Submission


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BeenVerified Berkman Submission

  1. 1. Internet Safety Technical Task Force Technology Submission Template BeenVerified Inc. http://www.beenverified.comABSTRACT PROPOSED SOLUTIONBeenVerified Inc. provides a seamless, easy to use BeenVerified is built for online communities, businesses,environment for online identity and credential employers and individuals. However, making the processverification. Specifically, individuals, businesses, and easy to use and simple to understand for the end-user isonline communities can use the BeenVerified platform the critical success factor. The end user process ofwith custom tailored solutions to solve specific needs. BeenVerified is very similar to the process of sending and receiving money through PayPal, only in the case ofBeenVerifiedʼs true value proposition is its portability. BeenVerified, users are securely sending and managingSimilar to PayPal, a user needs to go through the personal information. Initially, BeenVerified operates as averification process just once. Thereafter, as a background checking company that performs voluntaryBeenVerified user visits websites or businesses that background checks on someone looking to display andrequires identity or credential verification and accepts the share their identity or credentials with a third-partyBeenVerified API the user can simply authenticate to business, online community or employer. Examples ofBeenVerified and instantly validate their true identity and credential verifications that can be performed includecredentials. identity, education, work experience, criminal checks, professional license and many more.Keywords The BeenVerified solution includes a proprietary API thatIdentity, portable, user-centric, verification, credentials follows the OAuth protocol for securely sharing and
 managing end-user credentials. The BeenVerified APIFunctional Goals was built to allows third-parties to request personal Limit harmful contact between adults and minors information from an individual but allow the individual Limit harmful contact between minors control of the authorization of such requests and also Other – please specify providing for granularity in the release of what pieces ofFacilitate trusted user interactions between adults personal information the individual would like to release. Additionally, the individual has the ability to update their personal information and edit the settings andPROBLEM INTRODUCTION authorizations should they choose to “unrelease” theirProblems involving online identity are being reported in information at anytime.the national headlines every day – and with good reason.In recent years, the Internet has created an explosion in The most important thing to recognize aboutthe development of methods for networking online for BeenVerified is that it is a user-centric approach tosocial and business purposes. Communities and blogs solving many of the online identity problems, meaninghave been formed for every area of human interest and to the end-user is always in control of the who, what, when,service numerous niches. These communities and blogs where, why, and how their information is being displayed.have facilitated an instantaneous process of meeting andcommunicating with people. In an instant, users can be USE CASESspeaking with someone that they wish to work with, The BeenVerified API was built using the OAuth protocolexplore a potential romance, or find someone to rent their ( to securely manage the user’sapartment; among thousands of other tasks. credentials (username/password) and SSL encryption for sharing of data between BeenVerified and the third-party requesting information.While this rush to create a massive infrastructure formeeting people has resulted in numerous benefits, it was Use Case- The “Kids Only” Chat Roombuilt with zero attention to the infrastructure for handling A community has been set up to allow children to interactthe ability to verify or trust the validity of information with one another. Our technology will allow all parentssubmitted in an online form, profile, blog, resume, etc.

 of the community to have their identity and age verified before allowing their child to enter a chat room. The result of this process is that the Adult and the child are linked together on one account that provides for
  2. 2. accountability of any misuse or inappropriate actions that The Individual Provestake place. Additionally, further checks could be made to An individual can proactively verify their own identityverify that the adult is not a Sexual Offender or other and credentials and use their BeenVerified account as astandards that the community may choose to uphold. portable marketing tool to share their information with the newspaper.The Community ConnectsCommunities, web sites, and businesses can easily The Employer Requestsimplement the BeenVerified web service directly into The employer can use BeenVerified to send a “Gettheir own look and feel. The individual can have their Verified Request” to each applicant, which would sendages verified directly on the community and share it with the applicant over to BeenVerified where we then providethe appropriate people, on a real-time basis. the employer with an easy way to manage, view, and pay for the verifications.Use Case- The Online DaterA young man is looking to secure a date using a popular The Job Board Connectsonline dating site. He is proud of his accomplishments, as Communities, web sites, and businesses can easilyhe is a graduate of Harvard Law and now works for one implement the BeenVerified web service directly intoof the best law firms in the city. He wants to be able to their own look and feel. The individual can have theirseparate himself from the countless other people on the information verified directly on the job board and shareddating site who misrepresent themselves. He wants with the employer on the job board as well, on a real-timepotential daters to know he is who he says he is and has basis.accomplished what he claims. ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONThe Young Man ProvesThis young man can proactively verify his own identity What the technology successfully solves and what itand credentials and use his BeenVerified account as a does not.portable marketing tool to share verified information with • Not a silver bullet to solve all of the currentpotential dates. This includes a criminal background online identity issues.check as well as verified personal information such as • Unable to currently verify the identity ofage, occupation, or education. International individuals effectively. • Does not solve if someone will commit a crimeThe Potential Dater Requests in the future.A female dater interested in dating this young man can • Costly to access every criminal database in theuse BeenVerified to send a “Get Verified Request” to a US and Internationally.suitor which would send the young man over to • Fallible to human error and also to potentialBeenVerified where we then provide the dater with an misrepresentations within the databases that areeasy way to manage, view, and pay for the verifications. accessed, even though BeenVerified is just a conduit to access said databases.The Dating Site ConnectsCommunities, web sites, and businesses can easily Strengths-weaknesses analysisimplement the BeenVerified web service directly into Strengths Office 2004 Test Driv…, 6/23/08 11:44 AMtheir own look and feel. The individual can have their • Easy for the end user to use and appreciate the Formatted: Bullets and Numberinginformation verified directly on the dating site and share it added value of getting verified.with other members on the dating site, on a real-time • Really easy for a website or community tobasis. implement. Most programmers should be able to have BeenVerified up and running within their community within one day and then just needUse Case- The Online Job Seeker additional time for CSS/HTML and user flowA west coast newspaper is looking for a freelancer writer the South Beach area on a job board known for having • One source for multiple verification typesa good amount of writersʼ resumes. The newspaper (identity, work experience, education, etc.)receives over one hundred resumes for this one instead of needing to code and provide userassignment and would naturally like to verify the flows for each verification. Extremely importantcredentials of these applicants. Currently, employers have given most communities resource crunch.only a few expensive, time wasting, and cumbersome • Cost effective for each community or user tooptions for doing so. With BeenVerified, there exist three purchase the verifications most important toeasy options for quickly and cost-effectively verifying them. (ex. Sexual offender for Children’s socialtheir credentials. network vs. Education for a Job Site)
  3. 3. Weaknesses Amster, was the head of Interactive Development for • Expensive to access all criminal databases L’Oreal/Redken and our development team is comprised • International verifications of all seasoned veterans. Eran Hammer-Lahav, the lead writer of the OAuth spec, provided advice whenImplementation requirements structuring our API. Bill Washburn the ExecutiveIn order for a website or community to implement the Director of OpenID is on our board of advisor, has a PhD Office 2004 Test Driv…, 6/23/08 11:44 AMBeenVerified API they must have an understanding of in Policy and Ethics from Stanford and is a big proponent Formatted: Bullets and Numberinghow APIs work and also have an understanding of the of our technology, process, and ideals.mechanics behind OAuth. There are no otherimplementation requirements other than understanding COMPANY OVERVIEWhow to interact with a web service. A prototype for the BeenVerified service was launched in October 2007 and was used for further research andEnd user requirements are low and the end-user would feedback from potential partners, users, and investors.need to have the online aptitude capable of filling out an This prototype was demoed at the Sun Microsystemsonline form. Startup Camp and was selected from nearly one hundred entrants as one of the top three most promisingTechnical standards used technologies. After raising Angel Funding, the companyThe major standard protocols that are used is OAuth, then spent the next few months through April 2008, Office 2004 Test Driv…, 6/22/08 11:03 PMSSL, XML. vetting and shaping the platforms capabilities and ease of Formatted: Bullets and Numbering use. In late May of 2008, BeenVerified released theUse of law and policy for success platform (API) that provides the seamless and scalableBeenVerified falls under the FCRA when being used by web service for partner integration. Office 2004 Test Driv…, 6/22/08 10:33 PMemployers for conducting background checks on a Formatted: Bullets and Numberingpotential candidate. Outside of that, due to the fact that In May 2008 Bill Washburn, Executive Director of thethe end-user is the one in control of requesting and Open ID Foundation, considered a guru of online identitysharing their background information there are not many and open protocols, reviewed our company, plans, andpolicy or legal frameworks to navigate. Naturally, technology, and agreed to join our Board of Advisors. InBeenVerified does have to maintain standards as of to July of 2008, the company completed a Series A round ofwhere and how we verify individual data and as such, financing which is being used for continued developmentbelow each verification we display the source of the and marketing purposes.verified the information. BUSINESS MODEL OVERVIEWViability in the US and international The business model is flexible in the sense that one of theBeenVerified has a successful “hit rate” within the US of three interested parties can pay for the service a) the end jtatlock 6/18/08 10:54 AMover 90% due to the fact that we combine technologies user b) the website or community implementing the Formatted: Bullets and Numberingand are an aggregator of identity and credential services service or c) the receiver of verified information (ex. anand not a main repository. For example, we combine employer). The core functionality is independent of whocredit card verification technologies, with RSA’s public pays for the service and in the case of implanting thisidentity verification product, and Equifax’s Identity service as an API it is very much business developmentCredit Report product. At the moment we are not driven on who bears the cost. Identity verification (name,accessing or supporting international end-users due to the age, address, etc.) is roughly $1 per user and may in somecomplexity of doing so. However, going forward and as cases be waived. Credential verifications (education, workinternational data providers continue to improve services, experience, professional license, etc.) are roughly $10 perBeenVerified will partner or license their technologies as verification.well. MORE INFORMATIONEffectiveness to Date Please visit for more informationTo date BeenVerified has been in Beta and has been used about our overall service. Our main thesis is that in order jtatlock 6/18/08 10:54 AMby a small set of users with no major flaws noticed and no to to solve some of the issues being addressed by this task Formatted: Bullets and Numberinghurdles seem apparent in the scaling sense. The “failures” force, some larger issues of overall online identity need toof the technology are more of a result of the lack of be addressed and solutions provided. There is a 40information within existing databases or more importantly second video on the homepage explaining our mainlack of centralization by the government of criminal vision. Our core principles can be found by readingrecords. “User Bill of Rights”EXPERTISEThe core development team has been building andoperating online businesses since 1996. Our CTO, Jason
  4. 4. Full API specifications can be accessed by receiving a 236 5th Avenue 9th Floor | New York, New York 10001developer key: P: 212-738-9374 | M: 646-417-3239 | www.beenverified.comCONTACT INFORMATIONJoshua Levy
CERTIFICATION“I certify that I have read and agree to the terms of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force Intellectual Property Policy.”