January 13, 2016

Global ID (GID) Framework

Every person has a right, and a responsibility, to a secure, trusted, and private identity.  The prevalence of electronic connections implies that we each must identify ourselves to prove our authorization for particular conduct — without necessarily having to give up any more private details than necessary.  For two parties to conduct their affairs in a trusted manner requires balancing reciprocal security and privacy concerns.  Age-old concerns about “big brother” have chilled expectations about a corporation or government balancing these competing values.  However, the advent of new technologies such as distributed ledgers suggests new possibilities for a universal and portable identity solution that does not require a centralized authority.  The GID mission is to harness both new technical and governance possibilities to create a “little brother” identity helper rather than a “big brother” identity overlord.

Many of the world’s poorer individuals are unable to participate in the connected world, given they lack a digital identity to garner access to particular offerings in society.  Nevertheless, even those who have granted access, the status quo is friction laden with redundant signups, as well as susceptible to abuse by bad actors. To date, no one has ever conceived of a central power to do all of this without veering into an Orwellian big brother reality.  The alternative of distributed ledger technology and federated governance suggests there is a democratizing bottom-up identity architecture that could include and benefit every member of society.  

The GID Framework describes the ability for individuals to control their assets rightly and responsibly as well as permission- based conduct and therefore in turn be trusted by others who do the same.  This is only possible by reciprocally balancing the rights and responsibilities of a universal and portable identity framework.

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