Data privacy issues have been escalating in 2020 as personal data is increasingly being used to fight COVID-19. The Linux Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium, has today announced a new data privacy project featuring dozens of cross-industry giants like Mastercard and IBM.

Called the ToIP Foundation, the new data trust coalition aims to provide a trusted exchange of data over the internet and establish a global standard to ensure digital trust.

According to a May 5 announcement, the ToIP Foundation’s participants include a wide list of companies, governments and nonprofits across industries like finance, enterprise software and health care.

Founding members include payment giant Mastercard, IBM Security and Accenture, while contributing members feature major blockchain consortium R3, the University of Arkansas and online lending platform Kiva. The Province of British Columbia is also among its founding members, the ToIP Foundation said.

Abbas Ali, head of digital identity at R3, highlighted that R3 is highly committed to the development of secure, trusted and privacy-preserving digital identity ecosystems. The exec noted that R3’s open-source enterprise blockchain platform, Corda, is able to unlock private transactions:

“Our Corda platform is designed to enable private transactions, and by incorporating the work of the ToIP Foundation, we can develop solutions uniquely suitable for self-sovereignty in the digital world.”

Ali told to Cointelegraph that the firm is not looking to implement Corda within the ToIP explaining:

“R3 is supporting the industry initiative and ensuring Corda works with the standards that are coming out of the ToIP foundation/standards that are being defined or set by ToIP.”

Enabling the digital trust layer that the internet was missing

The new pan-industry initiative hopes to enable a new level of digital identity and verifiable data exchange, the Linux Foundation’s executive director Jim Zemlin said. Zemlin outlined that the mission of ToIP Foundation is to “provide the digital trust layer that was missing in the original design of the internet” and trigger a “new era of human possibility.”

Specifically, the new data privacy project aims to help businesses protect and manage digital assets and data in a complex enterprise environment involving systems like the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.

To address these challenges, the ToIP Foundation plans to use digital identity models that use interoperable digital wallets and credentials and the new W3C Verifiable Credentials standard.

While various initiatives and protocols aim to solve the issue of digital privacy, some experts believe that after a decade of talk, blockchain has still failed to deliver on that account.

This announcement originally appeared in CoinTelegraph.