Do you really own your online identity?
"Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say." "When you say, 'I have nothing to hide,' you're saying, 'I don't care about this right.'"
~ Edward Snowden's rebuttal to the nothing to hide privacy argument.
According to 2016 Statista Global Social Login Report, just two companies dominate approximately 98% of the social OAuth login market. While this has created huge simplifications in our online lives, and great leaps in access control research, individuals like smart contract pioneer Nick Szabo have pointed out that,
“Trusted third parties, are security holes”.
What does this mean for the landscape of digital identities?
Back in E7: Ian Pilon on Technology & Us, Ian and I discussed the evolving concerns of our multiple identity world, and the "digital shadow”, and one thing we didn’t touch on was the question of,
“If our virtual identities are becoming equal to (and in cases of virtual celebrities more than) physical identity, should there be a mechanism to ‘own’ ones identity in the digital world?”
What is Self Sovereign Identity?
Self Sovereign Identity (SSI), along with data ownership, are relatively new concepts growing in interest among the public and digital owrld. In a sentence, Self Sovereign Identity is a concept wherein an individual can control his/her identity attributes (i.e. pieces of personal data), no matter where they reside (Tieto Blog).
According to Dan Gisolfi (CTO of Trusted Identity at IBM), it was Sovrin who several years ago envisioned a, “future whereby individuals would be able to take back control of their identity and participate at a peer-to-peer level with their online and offline relationships.” Using a network of trusted friends, unions, families, banks, or governments who would vouch for you, one would be able to assemble an identity allowing them to interact with other persons or entities in the network.
But what makes an identity “self sovereign”?
- Existence : Users must have an independent existence
- Control: Users must control their identities
- Access: Users must have access to their own data
- Transparency: Systems and algorithms must be transparent
- Persistence: Identities must be long-lived
- Portability: Information and services about identity must be transportable
- Interoperability: Identities should be as widely usable as possible
- Consent: Users must agree to the use of their identity
- Minimalization: Disclosure of claims must be minimized
- Protection: The rights of users must be protected
In this cast we talk to Chief Blockchain Evangelist, Alex Ortiz of LifeID about getting into blockchain, identity, and token models that might support continued development of protocols. Specifically, we chat about:
How LifeID is building self sovereign identity on the blockchain
Data Privacy Dilemma, and why large identity providers might not be necessarily to blame for where we are today. After all, didn’t they just see the value of an commodity before others?
Open Source business models, does a token as a tax make sense?
More on Alex Ortiz
Food For Thought 🍍
“Is privacy really a value? Privacy is actually a very modern condition.
I want to make the argument that: ‘Privacy is incompatible with Technological Progress’. When I say privacy I mean > very strict privacy laws like Europe Union.
I don’t think privacy is a value, I think it’s a strategy that we’ve used to defends some things that I do think are > > values:
Freedom from Persecution
Freedom of Expression
Freedom of Thought”
~ Albert Wenger, Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures, Decentralization: Two Possible Futures at Blockstack Berlin 2018
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Music Credits to: Dlay — Far Away Place (Intro) The Ant — Libby Hill
Design inspiration: BlockChannel Media