Creating a digital identity system ?

This is just some thoughts written down while reading 21 lessons for the 21st century. I’ll update if needed, feel free to discuss.

Reading 21 lessons for the 21st century makes we wonder how we could develop ownership on our own data / digital identity. We tend to rely on states, but they can be quite slow to move, evolve, especially when we look at how fast the digital landscape is moving. Therefore there is perhaps a room for a personal digital identity system which would allow us to give / remove access to our personal data and to to keep those informations up to date.

First I thought about a blockchain solution, allowing us to secure our data, but then I realized how much of our “identity” is moving. A blockchain solution would be a real problem for a lot of people.

Some examples I had :

  • Transgender people have to be able to change their gender and name
  • People leaving their country might adopt a new nationality
  • The simple act of moving out means our address isn’t something fixed
  • People can change their name by legal means, therefore even our names might change

People should also be able to own those data totally, which means some kind of self hosted solution as relying on a company (Facebook much?) to own those data is too big of a threat. But then, what kind of solution ? A physical system means it could easily get lost, a digital one would require both hardware and basic skills, and what happens if we lost the hardware ?

Still thinking about it, will update if needed.

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