Patricia Alfheim
September 16, 2022

Identity is about power

Identity Day 2022

Identity is about power

Today is International Identity Day, an initiative focussed on raising awareness of the fundamental human right of a legal identity. September 16 represents UN Sustainable Development Goal 16.9 which calls for the provision of legal identity for all by 2030, including birth registration.

Imagine life without a legal identity. There is no power in forced anonymity, there are no benefits. As many as 1 billion people do not have basic proof of identity, which is necessary for access to fundamental human rights and opportunities. 

‘Having proof of one’s identity is a fundamental right, and a practical necessity for the human experience, especially in the context of digital transformation of society.’ - ID-Day Coalition 

For many of us, this is challenging to imagine, living life without proof of who we are. Closer to home, perhaps, is the right to a trusted digital identity that enables us to gain access to digital services. I temporarily experienced this when I migrated to a new country. I had to wait for my visa application to be processed to get a new ID number that would then allow me to buy a phone subscription, open a bank account, get a job, etc. Thankfully I had some workarounds and only had to manage for a short time. 

However, there are some in our communities that do not have access, due to lack of a computer or smart device, digital illiteracy or impairment. What opportunities are there for them to access digital services, like online banking or payments? Especially for those services that are exclusively digital, like an online subscription to a streaming service. Can a third party legally act on their behalf?

Now let’s go even closer to home for the majority of us. We might have a physical and digital identity and have access to all the benefits that come with each of those. But what choice to do we have over our data and information. Are our identities being exploited? 

Identity data is valuable, and can be used for criminal purposes but sometimes the exploitation is much subtler. An invasion of privacy, tracking where we do not wish to be tracked, our information used for our disadvantage, invasive selling, etc. 

Identity is all about power. Power to exist, power to function in society and power to choose. 

This International Identity Day, we are swapping out our Linked In profile pictures to raise awareness of those without legal identities and without power.

We want to be part of the movement that places the power of identity back into the hands of those who should have it - the people. 

Learn more about identity day here.

If you want to learn more about how you can empower your customers to take ownership of their identity data - get in touch with us.

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