A large part of our lives now takes place digitally. We interact with our friends, do our banking, buy products and services, and interact with the government – all online. You could say that we live more ‘online’ than ‘offline’, and that our interaction with society is more often digital than analogue.
The digital systems and channels that host these interactions are each designed with a specific purpose, and thus define our digital representation in society. This is done on the basis of data that we make available (social security number, purchasing behavior, tweets) or data which the systems organize for and generate about us. You could consider all of these ‘sub’ identities together as your Digital Identity. But is this an ideal situation?
At the present moment, the user has no significant control over this identity; pieces are shaped by Facebook, pieces by the municipality, pieces by AirBnB and pieces by Amazon. The lack of control over our digital identities increases the risk of privacy violation, encourages identity fraud, and makes managing our own identities a difficult task.