A very interesting article concerning the use of the government as a ‘trusted third-party’ in private sector transactions, e.g. proving that you are 18 or 18+ online. Vikram Kumar works for New Zealand’s State Services Commission on the All-of-government Authentication Programme. As he puts it, “… that means my working and blog lives intersect….” In this discussion of the Third Law of Identity, he argues that in New Zealand, where the population of the whole country is smaller than that of many international cities, people may consider the government to be a “justifiable party” in private sector transactions.

You know I wonder if the same could be said of Sweden with just a population of 9 million? I find -after living here just 5 years- that the trust that the Swedish individual has in the government is amazing when compared with countries such as the UK and the US. For example Swedes really can’t understand the fuss being made about the British ID scheme, In Sweden children are born with a personal ID number -you know, in addition to 5 fingers/toes and the bare necessities for survival ;-). In Sweden I believe that Vikram’s arguments are almost plausible, almost possible to work……Although as a Brit myself I find this a bit scarey…