Bringing Transparency to Supply Chains with SSI

Bluenumber Foundation uses Trinsic to empower underserved workers and bring transparency to supply chains.

About

Bluenumber Foundation is an organization focused on data equity and the digital rights of individuals. Its mission is to “change how people own, manage, and benefit from the use of their digital identity and data”. Bluenumber primarily focuses on helping underserved populations in the Global South by empowering them with the digital identity tools they need to bring transparency to their working conditions while getting paid for the data that they share.

The problem

Consumers are increasingly concerned with supply chain transparency. They want to know that the goods they buy have been ethically sourced. Because of this, businesses and industries are being held to a higher standard to prove that their supply chains are free from exploitation and harm.


Regular audits are supposed to uncover any human rights abuses, exploitation, or environmental violations within businesses’ supply chains. However, these audits are paid for and many times influenced by the businesses themselves, creating a conflict of interest. According to Bluenumber, it is not unheard of that management coaches workers on what to say and do for these audits. With this top-down approach to supply chain audits, workers’ voices can be influenced or cherry-picked to produce the most favorable results for the business.

The solution

Bluenumber created a platform that flips the top-down model for supply chain audits on its head to make it bottom-up. With Bluenumber, supply chain audits can be conducted directly with workers without the involvement or knowledge of business ownership or management. And what’s more, workers are paid for the data they share.


Bluenumber makes this possible by first partnering with independent, local NGOs who conduct audits or surveys on worker conditions. Since these NGOs are involved in the community, they are able to introduce the Bluenumber platform and its benefits to workers. If workers choose to join the Bluenumber platform, they receive a digital wallet and participate in a five-day, 90-question survey that asks about their working conditions. Their survey answers are stored as data in their wallet which only they can access and control. Now, whoever wants to make use of that data must get the consent of the workers and pay them for that data that they share.

“If you are a company in the U.S. making a claim that your supply chain is free of forced labor, you are relying on data that has been created by workers in order to substantiate that claim. Bluenumber is now making that data monetizable, parking it under an SSI.”

– Puvan Selvanathan, President, Bluenumber Foundation

Empowering workers in Bangladesh and farmers in India

In partnership with other NGOs, Bluenumber has developed an initiative called Million Makers—a nonprofit coalition that uses Bluenumber as its platform to incentivize workers to make supply chains transparent from the bottom-up. In Bangladesh, Million Makers has been piloted in an industrial park with over 20,000 workers in about 30 garment factories that supply clothing for brands globally. At a community center right outside the park where workers often gather, they learn about the initiative and can join. Over a five-day period, the workers take a survey on their working conditions. Bluenumber then licenses the data from the workers, anonymizes and aggregates the data to make reports, and pays the workers for sharing their data. Bluenumber operates a similar program in India focused on thousands of smallholder farmers.

These reports can be bought by brands or other organizations to confirm or disprove what the businesses are saying about their supply chains. Each report has data from thousands of workers’ or farmers’ responses and the data is anonymized, so it is impossible to trace back to who said what.


With the help of Bluenumber, these workers and farmers will be paid for their data and will be able to share their unfiltered voice about their working conditions.

Partnering with Trinsic

Bluenumber uses Trinsic as its identity infrastructure partner. Because of Trinsic, individuals who use Bluenumber can securely store their data in a digital wallet and choose to share it with who they please.


Bluenumber decided to partner with Trinsic because they knew Trinsic was reliable, scalable, prioritized interoperability, and able to meet its global demands. They wanted an identity infrastructure that was digitally-native (e.g., not just digitizing physical credentials, but creating digitally-native credentials), and Trinsic provided just that. Ultimately, they needed to move fast and determined Trinsic was the quickest way to get an MVP out to market.

“I think Trinsic has the most approachable user platform for devs to engage with, easy to work with API solutions, and the most transparency. I always consider other options but still gravitate toward Trinsic.”

– Chris Raczkowski, Paramount Software Solutions, Inc. (Bluenumber implementation partner)

Learn more

Interested in joining the Bluenumber ecosystem or becoming a partner? Visit the Bluenumber website to learn more.