Panel on Digital Identity

                            Losing Identity: Homo Sapiens or Homo Ignorance?

                         - Panel Discussion in London  (UK) - Summer 2018 (Dates TBC)

The increasing popularity and diversity of social media sites have encouraged more and more people to participate on multiple online social networks to enjoy their services.
Each user may create a user identity, which includes profile, content, network information, to represent his or her unique public figure in every social network.
Now, a fundamental question arises: how are user identities being linked across online social networks? User identity linkage across online social networks is an emerging phenomenon in social media and has attracted increasing attention, if not concern too, in recent years.
Advancements in user identity linkage could potentially impact various domains such as recommendation and link prediction. Due to the unique characteristics of social network data, this problem faces tremendous challenges.
Users tend to bring their closest friends over to different social platforms they frequently use. The behaviour of a user's close friends is also informative in identifying different accounts of the same user.  On the other hand, the user is linked to a wider circle of people who may range from close friends to social friends to acquaintances to friends of friends or even friends of friends of friends. 
The rules by which many social media, such as Facebook are governed, are atrocious and the norms are even worse.  Importantly, the governance is centrally managed by a single-minded firm with no particular accountability to its users beyond a thin veneer of forced compliance, and even that is ineffective against the contemptuous gaze of its sovereign. What does the future hold with regards to this invasive reality, especially as it seems to spiral out of control- to the financial benefit of big corporations and to the detriment of the privacy and rights of citizens/users? 

Global Thinkers Forum organises a timely discussion, moderated by Geoffrey Goodell, Entrepreneur & Portfolio Manager.

  • Do digital identity systems impose nonconsensual trust relationships upon their users and lead to centralised population control through surveillance and opportunities for economic rent-seeking for their owners and administrators?
  • Is there a way to conduct effective authentication and authorisation without establishing centralised identity or data aggregation?
  • Is there a way to develop an authentication framework that empowers users to manage their own identities and that empowers local businesses and cooperatives to establish relationships and conduct business on their own terms, without requiring the trust of powerful intermediaries? 
  • What should be the role of policy-makers?