Omidyar Network
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Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network Statement on Digital Identity and Privacy

The Issue

Why is Digital Identity Necessary?

Our View

  1. be available and useful to individuals
  2. be non-discriminatory and designed for inclusion, meaningful user-control, and privacy
  3. provide for recourse and accountability for harms caused

Some Key Characteristics of Empowering Digital Identity

  • aware of the use of her ID and its associated data trails
  • able to permission its use (or, conversely, deny its use)
  • able to opt out of its use even after permission has been granted, and to not be compelled to use it
  • informed and able to understand the decisions made through the use of her ID and related data, even those beyond the initial use case
  • able to have meaningful recourse in the event of violations (including errors?)

Implications for Omidyar Network Engagement

  • Systems designed primarily, or even secondarily, for surveillance purposes
  • Systems that are not designed to be inclusive, or are designed for discriminatory purposes (e.g., to single out a given ethnic group)
  • Systems in states without robust privacy legal frameworks in effect or on the immediate horizon
  • Systems that significantly depart from the Principles for Identification for Sustainable Development

Looking Ahead

How We Define Digital Identity

a. Identity issued by an identity provider:

b. De facto identity:

c. Self-asserted and self-sovereign identity:



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Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network


Omidyar Network is a social change venture that reimagines critical systems, and the ideas that govern them, to build more inclusive and equitable societies.