Who owns the digital you?
Updated: Jun 1
What is an identity and how did it become digital?
Your body with heart, mind, soul and behaviour can be defined as your physical identity also known as a human. Nation states wants to recognize, trace and identify every new-born human, registering everyone with unique identifiers, your name and often a number.
Identity’s historical development
History shows every time new technology is introduced it impacts all aspects of society including a person’s identity registration. Tattoos and branding with hot iron, were the first ways to identify a human. When writing was invented, a paper carrying your name became the identifier. New technology created the fingerprint, and photography added a picture to the identifier we know as passport.
When computer technology became available governments started to register all humans within their borders in databases. These digital profiles were anonymised and used for statistical research to plan the development of society, education and infrastructure planning. Behaviour was not followed nor registered unless you broke the law or a clear suspicion existed you intended to break the law.
So far so good …
Digital technologies emerging
Technology progressed and enabled all human data stored in databases to be exchanged using cables, the internet entered our lives. Hardware technology made computers literally to fit on your lap and eventually in your pocket. The combination of a wireless network, all information digitally available anytime, anywhere, created access to a new world, we define as the Digital Space.
Behaviour in the Digital Space
The smart phone enables access to this digital space 24 x 7. Your social contacts are just one click away, together with nearly every possible service. Every click in the digital space creates a data point, being: purchases, travels, government interactions, social relations, opinions, pictures, video’s, attendance, physical condition, movement from A to B, etc.
Turn it around and ask yourself:
“When do I not sit behind a screen socialising or performing activities?”
All activities you perform is decided by your behaviour, also in the digital space.
Digital technologies register the behaviour of all individual humans, criminal or not. Our behavioural patterns were digitised, we created our Digital Twin.
Access to the Digital Space
Accessing some physical spaces in real world, demands a human to identify themselves, crossing borders, attending events, getting into buildings, making purchases, etc. Some digital space also demands identification prior to entrance. This identifier connects the human to your Digital Twin. We call this identifier to access the Digital Space the Digital Human Identifier, the DHI
For physical objects exists already the DOI, the Digital Object Identifier
Digital Identity summarised
We created a Digital Space and humans accessing this space must identify themselves with a DHI. Once in this space human behaviour was registered creating the Digital Twin. The DHI and the Digital Twin together create the “Digital Identity for individual owners”. We entered the digital era …. without realising it.
“Digital identities for individual owners” is written on purpose because disconnected from the individual owner, the Digital Identity can be operated by other individuals, or combined with AI it can operate independently.
Based on the insights above a Digital Identity definition emerged:
“All human activities in data points being registered continuously & stored permanently, mirroring behavioural patterns and traceable to the physical identity, a human”
Who owns your Digital Identity?
Smart companies becoming Big Tech understood the opportunities of these technological developments. This resulted in so-called “social” platforms and search engines. The more human data Big Tech gathers the better they can construct a Digital Twin. This required the issue of the Digital Human Identifier (DHI) aka the email address to connect the physical you to your Digital Twin. Combining the DHI with your Digital Twin creates your Digital Identity. You’ve become a digital citizen of the Big Tech corporations, without realising it.
An email address gives access to the Digital Space and enables access management when passwords are lost. It simplifies communication between a human and DHI provider. Being the DHI provider is so vital for corporations that platform access is denied not identifying yourself with an (approved) email address they own.
We conclude therefore that the current Digital Human Identifier in the Digital Space is an email address issued by a profit driven corporation, without any democratic interests. Free access to platforms, which demands huge investments for operation, develop, security and marketing, does not exist. They need income from their digital citizens in order to make their business model profitable.
Try to replace your email address as login to websites & communities. Too much work?
Not in charge of your Digital Identity any more?
The Digital Identity manipulating the Physical Identity
Advertisement is a vital source of income for many business models and demands your permanent online presence to continuously update your Digital Twin. You, being permanent online is achieved by manipulation. By spreading information causing emotions preferably anger. It also creates an information bubble by repeatedly showing similar information. This reconfirms your original opinion and finally a refusal to accept other viewpoints. Comparable with brainwashing? See The Social Dilemma on Netflix.
At this point the Digital Identity influences the behaviour of the physical identity in terms of voting and aggression against people also influenced by their digital identity but having opposite opinions. Freedom of thinking and contemplation has been erased by the profit driven business models behind these platforms.
This is one of the causes for polarization we saw during the 2020 USA presidential elections. Since people continue to be manipulated by their Digital Identity this situation will not change, only exacerbate. The potential detrimental effects of these platforms are for example the violence eruption against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar.
· Use your Human digital Identity (login) for this New York times article
· Or accepts cookies reading this Dhaka Tribune article
Below a potential path how technology, or better the current inability of humans to understand and handle technology, pushing human civilization down the …
Summarising your new Digital Identity
Your Digital Identity consists of two distinct elements:
· Your Digital Human Identifier (DHI). A digital passport you present yourself with to access a Digital Space.
· Your Digital Twin. Digitised behaviour (social psychology) of all activities created when operating within the digital space or registered by other electronic devices or mobile networks.
DHI & Digital twin combined
The Digital Twin is most valuable when connected to the Digital Human Identifier (DHI). A Digital Twin without this DHI is data to be used in statistics and its commercial value is much lower. This underlines the importance of issuing and owning your DHI.
Big Tech understood the Digital Identity value and its key elements: the DHI & Digital Twin and how to monetize it. The 2020 value big tech corporations stock market share is achieved legally by being the first to combine new technologies, human behaviour, smart phones and machine learning.
People are not social any more, loose literally sight of each other, by only looking at their screens, and believing they are dependent on digital information. This results in the loose of common sense and the declining ability to interact on a human level. It creates also fearful humans causing mental and health problems.
What are the consequences for society when these polarised (brainwashed) humans meet without any skills to interact? Not open for any discussion, having lost the ability to enter a constructive dialogue sharing insights, knowledge and opinions.
Trust is a key word to enter the digital future, but the way a few humans exploit and use this new technology is only a source of distrust and inequality.
Blaming it on anyone does not help, everyone should look at their own behaviour and start asking questions. An independent Single Sign On replacing the DHI and disconnecting it from the Digital Twin would be a good start. A large public debate on digitalisation of your identity resulting in a digital citizenship of choice is advised.
Take back control of your digital identity. Follow this link
Fredrik the Frisian CEO Dynamic Integrations