Would you like to know more about Digital Identity and how it works? What the differences are between the UK's approach and the US? What the European wallet is all about and how it might operate across national borders?
Many people are rightly concerned that digital identity might usher in a novel and irretrievable form of surveillance. But at the same time, we cannot escape the fact that every nation has a digital transformation strategy underway: welfare payments, land registry, tax returns, right to work proofs, it's all becoming digitised. So in order to avoid fraudulent activity where people have had their life savings or even their homes stolen due to identity fraud, governments need to find some way to offer protection over the digital services, digital assets and even the digital self.
Today's podcast episode is the first of a series of three deep-dives into the technical and often complicated world of digital identity. Here with Dave Birch and Cameron D'Ambrosi we cover the US, UK and EU systems that are being adopted in each of the jurisdictions, how they compare and what the threats and opportunities are. We also draw a distinction betwee these western approaches and the more centralised, government-controlled, schemes in China and India.
One of the areas we cover is the topic of social media verification. Last week many Twitter users lost their blue tick checkmarks, as 'Chief Twit' Elon Musk introduced his new verification. Eligibility criteria includes the need for a display name and photo. For this, you will be asked to pay a price of $8 a month. 'Twitter Blue' subscibers will also get added features including the ability to edit their tweets, see fewer ads, and write longer tweets. We now have a situation in which many institutions are unverified whilst other users are offering their subscribers additional exclusive content behind a paywall. This week's guests discuss both Twitter and Facebook's verification plans in detail, and let's just say, they're not impressed:
"What I want Twitter to do is to maintain the social network, run the tweet system, essentially. It shouldn't be up to Twitter to say whether you're a person or not. So what should happen is, I go to create a Twitter account, or I go to log into Twitter the next time. Twitter bounces me to my bank, I do my strong customer authentication two factor, login to the bank. And the bank sends Twitter a credential which says this is a person. End of, that's it.
Doesn't say which person it is - not relevant.
Now Twitter can put a tick next to my name that says this is a person. It's none of their business who I am.
If I want to put another tick next to my name in a different colour, which means I run a business, or a tick in a different colour, which says somebody else provides, it's not up to Twitter to go out and find out those things.
So you end up, they have this kind of black and white verified, not verified, Facebook, are going to introduce the same thing. But actually, it's kind of two levels. There's 'am I person?' which Twitter wants to know. There's 'am I Dave Birch?' which might be relevant in some cases. Maybe I want to be Dave Birch on Twitter, I don't have to be but maybe I want to be. And then there's 'am I this Dave Birch?' and Twitter, has no idea whether I'm this Dave Birch or not. And it's expensive and time consuming to find out.
Which is why the whole blue tick thing is a bit of a mess."
This link will take you to the full episode on your preferred platform
Next time we'll hear from a specialist on the European digital identity system because 'digital wallets' are going to be the next big thing for consumers and citizens, and I will be speaking to a UK Parliamentarian, very active in this space, getting his take on the Govt's plans for digital ID.
Meantime, there will be an episode of The Briefing airing in two week's time that covers Generative AI, GPT-4, synthetic selves and much much more!
If you have any questions, or feedback on this, or you would like me to investigate a particular futures topic, email me at email@example.com, follow me on twitter @traceyfutures or visit Futuremade Consulting.