Geek Speak: Tanis Jorge, chief operating officer of Trulioo

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Tanis Jorge says she’s “excited” that Trulioo has been named one of the 25 most innovative technology companies in B.C. The South Surrey resident is the chief operating officer of the Vancouver-based company.

According to Jorge, Trulioo is working on “global online identity verification” and has a staff of 14. Jorge cofounded Trulioo with CEO Stephen Ufford. They previously founded iQuiri, NCB Data Services, and Pharos Global Strategies.

On Thursday (May 15), DigiBC will hold its NextBC showcase at the Telus World of Science. Aside from Trulioo, NextBC will feature Conquer Mobile, D-Wave Systems, General Fusion, HootSuite, and other “game-changing” companies.

The Georgia Straight interviewed Jorge over the phone.

In a nutshell, what is Trulioo working on?

We aggregate Internet identity information, and we apply analytics to this to enable businesses to engage online and verify their users. That’s the key. We specialize, specifically, in scoring Internet identities as authentic, machine-generated, or fraudulent. That’s our core business. That’s what we do is we verify online identities. We don’t really stray too much from that.

How does Trulioo’s identity verification system differ from other login systems people might be used to seeing elsewhere online?

We work behind different registration, such as social login. It’s a frictionless solution for businesses. It kind of works in the background. What we do is verify either a social profile or a cyber-identity. We initially start off with social login and then verify the identity or the profile that was used for social login. That’s the verified side of it.

But in the background, we also do a ton of other stuff that basically is combining the big data and the analytics and the data science, which is really the key, and aggregating sources from all over the place to really verify that identity is trusted.

Why is this kind of identification system necessary?

Well, there’s a few different reasons. Of course, identity is the foundation for trusted commerce on the web. So anonymity has its place, but not typically in an online transaction environment. Most of the time, you have high levels of fraud, very limited marketing capabilities, when you really don’t know who is on the other side of that.

Additionally, you have people in emerging markets, so places where identification is limited or they don’t even have any at all—rural China or in Africa. This is a way for people to have a trusted online identity that they can use anywhere online.

What kind of information is Trulioo pulling in to verify people’s identities?

We take all kinds of sources, from social login providers to mobile applications, e-commerce sites, social networks, even customers themselves. So we take this information, and we aggregate it and then basically put out a reliability score on that information.

How do you see identification verification changing on the Internet over the next several years?

I think, as we move more and more into an online environment—as the world shrinks and it gets smaller—there has to be a standardized way for people to engage in a trusted transaction. We can’t use our driver’s licence. We can’t use our passport. Every country has its own various different types of identification, and it’s just not something that’s standardized across the globe.

What we’re trying to do is create a trusted framework across the web and introduce policies that really make the consumer the owner of their identity. I think that’s the biggest key. While we do aggregate data and we do score this information, we actually don’t release the information unless the consumer gives consent. I think that particular stance that we take on consumer privacy is really important and has the capability of changing privacy on the web.

We work with some governments as well who are using this solution that we have. We really are driving them to make sure we put almost like an OAuth in front of it, where the consumer says, “I allow my data to be used,” which is something very unique and not really being done with information. We think that’s really, really important, and it puts the consumer in the driver’s seat.

Trulioo is going to be featured in the NextBC showcase of the province’s top 25 most innovative tech companies. Why do you think your company was selected for that?

I think because what we’re doing is extremely disruptive and has a global focus. We’re not just solving a little problem here. We’re actually trying to enable people to have an identity no matter where they go on the web. That’s never been done before. It never could be done before. With the latest technologies, such as the Internet, and the rapid adoption of mobile by everyone around the world, these things are enabling people to access the global world.

But I’m not going to do a transaction—send money—to somebody if I don’t know who they are on the other side. We need to be able to solve that solution, not only in the developed world but in emerging markets as well. I think it’s a big problem we’re solving.

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