How can we tell if the identity we are interacting with online is genuine, or a scam?

Project specs




John Collomosse



Funding agency

EPSRC UKRI Digital Economy programme




We present a novel blockchain based service for proving the provenance of online digital identity, exposed as an assistive tool to help non-expert users make better decisions about whom to trust online. Our service harnesses the digital personhood (DP); the longitudinal and multi-modal signals created through users’ lifelong digital interactions, as a basis for evidencing the provenance of identity. We describe how users may exchange trust evidence derived from their DP, in a granular and privacy-preserving manner, with other users to demonstrate coherence and longevity in their behaviour online. This is enabled through a novel secure infrastructure combining hybrid on- and off-chain storage combined with deep learning for DP analytics and visualization. We show how our tools enable users to make more effective decisions on whether to trust unknown third parties online, and also to spot behavioural deviations in their social media footprints indicative of account hijacking.

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Researcher Profile

TAPESTRY is a collaborative project between the University of Surrey Centre for Vision Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP, Lead) and the Surrey Centre for Cyber Security (SCCS), the Duncan Jordanston College of Art and Design at the University of Dundee, and the Department of Media Communication and Design at the University of Northumbria Newcastle.

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