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Gunther Sonnenfeld, March 30 2022

Human Identity

Data given off by real human beings, controlled by real human beings, and managed by real human beings is the near future of identity management. Here’s why it holds the keys to a $53B market by 2025.

Contrary to what most people think, we’ve been living in an Orwellian surveillance state for about 30+ years.

This isn’t anything we should despair over, we should just be aware of an abrupt end to centralized automation, and acknowledge that decentralized methods for processing data are well underway, simply because the largest corporations and institutions are realizing that no profits can be sustained by attempting to control everything.

First, let’s get a visual handle on how identity management is literally at the center of every known industrial activity on the planet.

Then it’s important to understand how digital gateways leverage and abuse our personal data.

Once we’ve understood that, now we can contemplate viable alternatives to authentication, verification and fulfillment.

This talk from Internet pioneer and esteemed professor Doc Searls is an excellent summation of the tacit implications of personal data, or more formally understood as SSI (self-sovereign identity).

I wrote about my group’s efforts in the SSI space about a year and a half ago. My business partner and good friend, Dawid Jacobs, has developed perhaps the most leading-edge SSI protocol in the world.

Dawid is a former police officer and government agent in South Africa, where he ran forensics on white- and blue-collar crimes for 35 years. Dawid’s recognition that human beings are far more than their names and transactional information led to the development of this version of SSI.

Like Searls, Dawid also sees that the future of identity management will be less focused on what people say about who they are, but what they actually do, reputationally, to evolve their identities contextually within society, or outside of it.

In doing so, we are moving away from what authorities say we are, to who we are as functioning, evolving human beings.

If we can ground ourselves in this kind of underlying philosophy, I believe we will live in a far more peaceful and prosperous world, even with all the digital bells-and-whistles.

We shall see, in short order.

Written by

Gunther Sonnenfeld

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