The legendary New York Times quoted, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,” which was depicted in a cartoon. This cartoon took a jibe at the essence of privacy and anonymity in the initial days of the internet.
Even though times have changed, anonymity is still one of a hot and sought after topic in the online world.
The Importance Of Having A Digital Identity
With the increase of social media, online banking, e-commerce, and peer-to-peer services, an authenticated digital identity is a vital ingredient in creating any digital platform to succeed.
Banking is one such area that has the ability to validate one’s identity in a safe and consensual manner in condition to access their basic services.
It is estimated that around more than 1.5 billion people don’t have access to everyday banking services because of their incapability to prove their identity.
This is because they do not have a valid passport, proof of residency through utility bill, birth certificate, or some other means to fulfill the traditional KYC procedures.
However, your digital identity is much more than just your login credentials.
This is just the verification that connects you with the digital you.
Your digital identity involves thousands of data points which creates a profile of who you are and your preferences and interests.
Who Owns Your Digital Identity?
As of today, your digital identity is all scattered over the internet.
Facebook owns your social identity, credit companies hold your credit value, online retailers own your shopping patterns and your bank owns your payment history.
Google identifies what the user has been curious about since they first started using the internet.
Currently, as consumers, we lack ownership of our own data. Moreover, fragments of our data belong to various third party websites. This creates immense vulnerabilities with regard to our data. For example, fraudsters are now taking advantage of this in countries that don’t have a national identifier. They are doing this by creating synthetic digital identities by opting for digital services or applying for credit cards and loans.
There are a number of instances where user data has been compromised due to data breaches or manipulation of public opinion on social media. Hence, there is too much at stake for consumers to not know what happens with their data online.
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