The Future of Digital Identity

Hans de Zwart, Scripting News, International Conference on Information Systems, Education Next, Apr 25, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Identity is an ongoing concern, both in the news and in our daily lives. Digital identity creates constraints around what would once have been an anonymous activity - buying a magazine, for example - while at the same time streamlining others - like online banking, for example. Surveillance and biometrics solve serious criminal threats, but when used to constrain legal demonstration, pose the possibility of suppression. The cameras aren't going away, and arguably we need them, but at the same time, there needs to be balance. On the one hand, people need more control over their identity, and especially their imnages; on the other hand, individuals, as well as the state, ought to have the right to surveil. And there needs to be informed consent - which, as Hans de Zwart writes, wasn't even the case at this conference on identity.

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