As the recent revelations about Facebook & Google attest, even privileged elites are helpless to control their information in the digital realm, where identities exist beyond our control, on the servers of different government agencies, tech companies & who-knows-what other organizations—all of the data collected & kept at their pleasure, to do with as they please.
Anything we do on the internet leaves a trail of data. Every time we sign on for a new cable company, a telecommunications firm, a ride-sharing company, a bank or a government agency, we must create a different user name and password, and offer up personal information like credit card numbers, home addresses, phone numbers & even Social Security numbers. All of that information, housed on a server, can be sold on the data markets.
“Right now, a lot of people feel helpless,” says Adam Gunther, director of blockchain trusted identity at IBM. “‘Everybody has my data. I have no control. I’ve given up.’”
If information were properly encrypted, Blockchain might free us from the tyranny of those who own the servers we rely upon to use the internet & restore the privacy many complain has been lost, while at the same time allowing us greater control over the many records that document our histories. And groups have been meeting ever since around the globe to discuss how we might take advantage of this truly community-owned new internet, how this kind of “self-sovereign identity” might work and how to implement it.
Programmers, tech idealists, entrepreneurs and others with a stake in blockchain’s future have been working on a broad sketch of how disparate self-sovereign identity systems might work, and how they can be designed to work with one another.
Welcome to the wonderful world of complexities in the 4th Industrial revolution (IR 4.0).
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