Who one is is always a matter of having adopted certain masks of identity reflected from the world as offers of who one could be in the world (M. Eldred).
Grasping this multifaceted character of identity and the resulting interplay between free self-determined selves is intriguing both in a legal, philosophical, technical and sociological sense.
Big Data is causing a dramatic change in the way personal identities are handled, especially in the online world. As the Internet grows more central in human lives, rights as data protection are becoming increasingly important for industries, regulators and citizens. New, more profound insights will be required to keep such rights effective.
Personal life and economic activities rapidly transfer into the online world. As a result, also the subject "identity" gets a whole new meaning because it regulates the interaction of users, the economy and the Government.
Digital and social media increasingly shape our identities. Our enthusiasm for these services is rivaled only by our unease and uncertainty about their impact. Not only do they increasingly monopolize our identities, but they render us visible and searchable in ways that warrant critical scrutiny.
Identification is a foundational problem of governance, and is of increasing concern to the private sector. Identification technologies act as the mediators of the relationship between an individual and institutions over time and across contexts, and how they are designed affects and is affected by the nature of that relationship.
Identity – for a philosopher this means the question of who we are over time, for technologists it is linked to recognising and authenticating entities in real and virtual online environments, whereas for legal experts it has to be protected e.g. by privacy and data protection laws.
Mathematically, identity seems to be a simple concept. However, in the real world, we interact in different social contexts and we need to control what we disclose about ourselves to whom and when to preserve our freedom. For technical identity systems, modelling this human requirement could still be a challenge.
My research shows that pervasive traces of digital behaviour, such as Facebook Likes or browsing logs, allow exposing individual’s intimate traits. This raises important questions related to current technological and legal standards related to recording, storing and processing user related information.
Identity is what makes something what it is. Understanding one’s identity is specifically human. It implies an awareness of those features that are specific for us – our individual beliefs, desires, our body and our autobiography.
In the age of Big Data, innovative methods of analyzing large datasets lead to a wider reflection on identity management systems. How to balance the role of government and private sector in shaping the future authentication systems? How to guarantee an adequate level of data protection and of anonymity?
I was chair of the Lead Expert Group for the UK GO Science Foresight report on Future Identities. We identified a number of drivers for change in Identity over the next 10 years. The blurring of online and offline and public and private identities will have significant and far-reaching implications.
Wired always-on internet access became actual 11 years ago, redefining the way and scope of business and social activities, to an extent and with a pace never experienced before.
Since the adoption of the Data Protection Directive (1995), the ability of organisations to collect, store and process personal data has increased. Identity management systems are now largely used on the Internet, and they increase the need to protect the user’s identity. In this context, self-protection gains in importance beside EU and national regulations.
Until recently behaviours in the online world were based on direct analogies to behaviours/situations experienced in the physical world. It is now apparent that the online world offers infinite new possibilities that are not based on our previous experiences in the physical world and where the role of identity is important.
The global concepts, social norms and forms of privacy and identity are experiencing unprecedented change. What exactly is being recorded about us? How is it tied to our real identities (and matched to our real names, addresses, government id #’s, and credit cards?)? What new personal info is being automatically shared about our lives?
I am NOT what my digital identity seems to be.
Efficient ID schemes are key for governments to design and implement their policies. This does not only include classic identification processes in the analog world but also the management of digital identities. In addition, we have been observing a shift from traditional ID towards mobile identification. This rapid shift increasingly takes place in thriving economies with innovative governments and open-minded citizens. Our wish is to learn more about those citizens' expectations on future ID solutions.
The ICT revolution is raising profound questions for identity both objectively and subjectively. Information storage and retrieval on a vast scale, by governments and companies; biometrics and similar systems for identification; social media and ever more intimate connections between individuals; traffic across the brain-machine interface to connect people in the most profound manner.
According to John Locke's statement (dating back to 1689) in "Essay Concerning Human Understanding" Book II Chapter XXVII entitled "On Identity and Diversity" identity (the self) is defined as being the same person to the extent that we are conscious of our past and future thoughts and actions in the same way as we are conscious of our present thoughts and actions.
What is happening to the identity in its transition from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0? From one hand, the identity is more and more the result of a construction by subjects other than the person involved, in many case committed to automatic processes. On the other hand, the person can manage the identity going towards a user-centric open identity network, in order to adapt it to each context and not to lose the personal control.
Persons not only exist as objects across time, they also have an understanding of their existence across time. Clearly, the notion of identity is linked to our self-understanding as individuals in various important ways. I am particularly interested in clarifying different meanings and uses of "identity" and their relations to each other.
In a global and electronic World, digital identity has become one of the most important challenges for legislators around the world. If we do not to establish an appropriate legal framework it might became an important barrier for economic development, not just in the IT sector but in all economic branches.
From my perspective, the issue of identity is closely related with its protection in our digitalized world. The role of legal regulation in this context is very important and increases along with the development of technology and implementation of identity management concepts. Therefore, this dimension ought to be present in our debate.
Identity has always been a vital part of governances and of communities and therefore investment must be secured for young people to feel European. The truth is that whilst institutions can try and medal with on-line presence exchanges, mobility and youth organisations remain the only demonstrated tool of engendering a European identity.
There are two important topics have not been properly stressed in the agenda. The first one is the problem of design evolution for wearable electronic systems: most of the modern wearable electronic solutions need new approaches to the design because for the first time fashion, technology, physiology and psychology are all needed to design convincing wearable products.
To be called user-centric, an identity management system should at least take users' preferences regarding IdMS into account. IdMS should also provide the highest feasible level of effectiveness with regard to security and privacy. Neither practical effectiveness of IdMSs nor stakeholders' preferences have been researched extensively.
For the first time in the history of mankind, our identities are being put in question. Can my identity be stolen? Can I have different identities? What about virtual identity? Are we moving into a brave new world? What are the threats, the risks, and the opportunities associated with safeguarding our individual identity?
State of the art smart cards as electronic identity (eID) cards can be used already for a visual and electronic verification of the citizen´s identity. Their electronic interface provides technical interoperability as well as privacy protection. The use of such eIDs as representatives of the personal Identity should be discussed from social and economical perspectives.
Effective and efficient utilization of identify management capability should include proper safeguard of identity and privacy of individuals. Identity management in a fast shrinking globe presents additional challenges beyond technology and product requirements and global technical standards. These challenges include, but not limit to, different cultural, legal and political considerations.
Identity cognition means to understand identities on a semantic level, which lies above simple syntactic identity recognition in computer systems. A challenging aspect of identity management is the cognition of globally unique names, where local user-centric identity management is the only fundamental approach that can provide adequate solutions.
Identity is the core. For people, identity outlines how we are viewed by others, for things it is key for communication and interaction in complex networks. Identity is developed through communication and interaction, but with the rise of the internet this process is complicated to manage. There is a need to really understand what it is, how it is developed and applied.
Many consider identity the instrument of power and control in the globalized and networked world. Many believe controlled identity will generate the trust for e-commerce. They will all fail. Identity is a matter of convenience and imagination for social interaction. Build your identity, don't get it built. We have to provide the tools for the people, not the identity prison.
Reliance on machine-readable identity tokens to relay personal data to allow or deny some of us access to services affects our understanding of identity, power and accountability. What are the socio-legal and ethical implications for society of humans being hyper-connected, identifiable and linkable by invisible robots making decisions for them?