As more people, devices and associated personal data get online, there is growing focus on a foundational element of this new digital environment – our identities. The ability to prove we are who we say we are will increasingly determine our opportunities to establish trust with each other and to carry out meaningful interactions in a digital economy. If approached right, it represents transformative opportunities such as access to basic services and more customized digital experiences, enhanced health and well-being, improved traceability in supply chains, citizen safety and global biodiversity protection.
Yet we are still learning what “identity in a digital world” means. We are also still evolving policies and practices on how best to collect, process or use identity-related data in ways that empower individuals without infringing on their freedoms or causing them harm. There is significant room to improve how identity data is handled online, and how much control individuals have in the process.
At the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2018 in Davos, a diverse group of public and private stakeholders committed to shared cooperation on advancing good, user-centric digital identities. Since then, a broader group of stakeholders has joined this conversation: experts, policy-makers, business executives, practitioners, rights advocates, humanitarian organizations and civil society.
The Platform for Good Digital Identity seeks to advance global progress towards digital identities that satisfy at least five criteria: they are fit for purpose, inclusive, useful, secure, and offers choice to individuals. It will do so by advancing collaboration on six key areas:
– Moving the emphasis beyond identity for all, to identities that deliver user value
– Creating metrics and accountability for good identity
– Building new governance models for digital identity ecosystems
– Promoting stewardship of good identity
– Encouraging partnerships around best practices and interoperability where appropriate
– Innovating with technologies and models and building a library of successful pilots