Can we use new technologies like blockchain to finally design digital identity in a way that is beneficial to everyone, and that better reflects our identity in the real world?
Even though we may feel like we have an "online identity", the current technical architectures and protocols of the Internet in fact place our identity in the hands of others. Years of work on so-called "user-centric" or "self-sovereign" digital identity have not been able to change this. Today however, we have a large arsenal of new and promising technologies such as blockchain, linked data, peer-to-peer networks, and new cryptographic tools, which may be able to address some of the historic deficiencies.
This being a concern of the western world, the UN estimates that at least 1.8 billion people worldwide are without a legal identity at all. The proclaimed goal therefore is to provide legal identity to all, including birth registration, by 2030.
Another example is the Estonian e-residency program which is interested to see how an online identity recognised by an EU government, and therefore under EU law, could, for example, be used by banks to identify new customers, or could be used in the Blockchain to establish legal identities.
What is your understanding of identity?