law-legislationOr is it?  Not really, it was an id fraud just waiting to happen, so if it is no surprise than it is not embarrassing really….. except it was top Swedish profiles that had their e-leg used fraudulently. That was pretty awkward for Telia, SBAB, Avanza and the Swedish Tax Authority ….and the party poppers were out this weekend for Swedish press.

SBAB and Avanza immediately issued a statement saying that they had stopped using the Telia e-leg. However the Swedish Tax Authority are waiting to see how things develop…..

But why do I say it was an id fraud waiting to happen? The problem is pretty straightforward. All credentials pertaining to access to information that we as natural and legal persons need to access/process is organised with the information, what I call ‘information silos’, not with the natural person. An ‘information silo’ can be financial information, i.e. your money in the bank, it could be your tax returns, or it could be your health information, your children’s information held by government authorities. In fact every ‘information silo’ has your logon credentials, i.e. your so called ‘digital identity’ or as was the case in this rather embarrassing crime, your e-leg. If you were to add to this list your credentials on LinkedIn, Facebook, your store cards, and loyalty schemes… you have potentially 100s of ‘digital identities’ that are fair game to identity fraud. Although I said this wrong… you don’t have 100s of ‘digital identities’, because they don’t belong to you. You have no control over your so called ‘digital identities’ whether these are in the form of e-leg or not. Well e-leg is yours, right? No it is not, it’s not controlled by you. In this example of id fraud, your digital id is created by a third party, and they even send the secret codes for access to information through the post.

I don’t know anyone that knows exactly how many ‘digital identities’ they have, because all so called ‘digital identities’ are owned and managed by the owners of the ‘information silos’. Clearly if you trust the 100s of information owners to be doing their job right, and to care about you and your personal privacy, then I guess it’s not a problem, but I don’t. I am sure that I care more about my digital identity than anyone else out there controlling my access to their information silos.

I don’t know anyone that has complete control over their digital identity or their digital footprint. What is more is that if anything bad happened to any of these identities, you would have no idea… even if you check your bank account daily, it doesn’t matter, because this is only one of many opportunities for identity fraudsters to take over and cause temporary chaos (for just a year or two) in your, and your family’s life.

So what’s the future? What I visualise is a world whereby I own my digital identity. I control my digital identity. I have only a single digital identity that is a digital and legal representative of my natural self. The fact that I own my digital identity, all transactions pertaining to my digital self will be mine.   This means that if I have a 100 places that I conduct digital interactions, that regardless of which legal entity has been agreed to own the content of the interaction, both parties will receive details of all transactions pertaining to the digital interactions. This would give me, as the identity owner, absolute transparency, and legal traceability.

It is how it should work after all. One digital identity for each natural/legal person. It’s pretty obvious really, isan’t it?

This is as claimed by Johan Staël von Holstein. Do you believe that everything you are digitally, and do online should belong to you? This includes your “digital identity” and all data/information you create online associated with your identity?

I placed “digital identity” in quotes because today it is not your digital identity, it is in fact not a digital identity at all. It is purely some fields in a database somewhere, in many databases. In fact you have no idea where you exist digitally. You may know that you exist in social networking tools such as Facebook, but not where your information has propagated to. Social networking tools have enabled you to add contextual information to your identity name, or your ‘digital identity’, i.e. your digital footprint, but you do not own this. These rich corporations makes loads of money from your digital footprint, but it should be you who is making money from this. It is, after all, your intellectual property!

YOUR IDENTITY – YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINT IS YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY!

Everything you create online should belong to you. All user-generated content should be the intellectual property of the individual, user, who created this content. You should have control over your digital identity, and your digital footprint. Organisation should have control over their corporate identity, but not yours! I call this not identity management (IAM/IDM), the term used in organisations, but IDENTITY CONTROL. This is the future!

Listen to a recent podcast released 07 May 2014, where Johan talks about these things, like when and why will Google and Facebook die? The future of identity control. Listen to it all, the real cool stuff comes in the second half of the podcast, so hang in there!

Haven’t you thought it as strange that your digital identity becomes weaker the more it is exposed? In fact is it an identity at all? After all it is only a record in a database, or an object comprised of attributes in an X.500 tree, or something written on a plastic ‘id card’. It is all of these, and replicated, maybe hundreds of instances, accurately and inaccurately all over the world.

In fact where is your digital identity? Is it real? If it is real then why do you have no control over it?

Why does your digital identity not reflect exactly how your physical identity works in the real physical world? When you are born you are referenced, i.e. probably starting with your parents declaring that you are their son/daughter and what your name is (your identity), relations and friends do the same… your identity strengthens. You start kindergarten and school, perhaps you have been assigned a national id number…. you are referenced, every reference to you strengthens your identity. The louder you shout, the more famous you become, the stronger your identity grows. In fact the President, Prime Minister, King, Queen, etc., probably have the strongest identities.

It is difficult to commit identity fraud on strong identities. So I return to my first question, why does it not work the same in the digital world?