I think therefore I am – But how do I prove it?

Posted on: July 31, 2012 by Guy Lidbetter

These means of interacting electronically are now so pervasive and will only grow. Today our digital identity is becoming at least as important as the physical ones we are accustomed to, such as passports and driving licences. However, that digital identity is becoming fragmented beyond belief and with it comes risk.

Every time you use a new website to buy something, you enter all your details yet again. Sharing important personal and financial information is not to be taken lightly, yet it is becoming generally accepted practice – and the more people that know who you are, the more likely someone who shouldn’t will get hold of that information.

In the not too distant future there will have to be a fundamental shift in how personal identity is asserted and authenticated so that only the individual has access, with all other verification being made against that trusted single source.

The digital passport has been tried unsuccessfully in the past but the need for it is becoming ever more pervasive. As with physical passports, perhaps it can only be truly trusted as an extension of that existing government service.

Regardless of the mechanics, governments should surely be duty bound to protect their citizens in the digital as well as physical space, where they are spending an ever larger proportion of their time. While many won’t welcome further state intrusion on privacy, some entity will need to become the trusted authority of peoples' digital identities rather than the scatter gun that exists today.

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About Guy Lidbetter
Chief Technology Officer, Infrastructure & Data Management. Atos Fellow and member of the Scientific Community
With over 30 years of experience in the IT services industry, as CTO for Atos Infrastructure & Data Management, Guy is responsible for setting Technical and Innovation Strategy across the IT infrastructure stack in both cloud and non-cloud delivery models. He is also responsible for senior level relationships with technology leaders of strategic partners. Previously, he has held numerous technical and management positions in Sema Group, SchlumbergerSema and Atos Origin. In 2017 Guy was appointed an Atos Fellow and is also a founder member of the Atos Scientific Community, most recently sitting on the Editorial Board for the latest Ascent magazine, “Imagining our Quantum Future’. He has a passion for sport, particularly Chelsea Football Club, baseball’s Atlanta Braves, rugby union and cricket. He also walks, cycles and more leisurely pursuits include photography, reading, music and attempting cryptic crosswords with varying degrees of success.

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