What we learned at KNOW 2019

globaliD co-founder and CEO Greg Kidd (far left) speaking on “#FakeNews — How We Can Ensure Election and Information Integrity” at KNOW 2019

We’re back from One World Identity’s KNOW 2019 conference in Las Vegas, and as always, it was great to see so much enthusiasm for identity packed in one place — with over 1500 attendees and 500 companies representing over 30 countries around the world.

As the leading identity community in the space, OWI’s events are a great benchmark for how much awareness has grown around the need for better and smarter digital identity solutions. (Check out our interview with OWI founder Travis Jarae.)

But even as this awareness has grown, so has the tension between legacy perspectives and new frameworks — primarily centering around the idea of how people should own and control their data. This much was clear going by the many conversations heard around the floor and panels up on stage (some of which veered toward vigorous debate).

And maybe that’s understandable. Giving people ownership and control over their data can be hugely disruptive to certain existing platforms and business models that rely on that data being siloed within a single company.

As such, there were still many voices hawking legacy solutions built around siloed data infrastructures.

globaliD co-founder and CTO Mitja Simcic (second from left) speaking on “Launching Payments for the Next Billion” at KNOW 2019

But the tide is shifting. People — more than ever — care about their data and demand privacy. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, 92% of consumers “say they should be able to control the information about them on the internet.”

The sad reality is that, according to the same report, only 10% of consumers “feel they have complete control over their personal information.”

But what was evident from KNOW 2019 is that the solutions are there. We have the technology. We have the tools. And we have numerous smart companies building platforms and solutions that can help achieve true identity portability.

It is maybe no surprise that the word “attestations” was tossed around casually and conversationally throughout the conference. Not only that, the ecosystem is healthy and growing as we saw a proliferation of attestation providers at the conference, particularly around edge cases.

The big challenge now is developing a better, more convenient, and more seamless user experience around those ideas.

And really, that’s why we’re so excited about what globaliD has in store for the rest of 2019.

PS — Congrats to the Sovrin Foundation for winning the Greatest Social Impact Award for “their work on administering the governance framework for the Sovrin Network, a decentralized global public network enabling self-sovereign identity on the internet.”