Many attempts have been made at identity over the years. A long time ago there was Microsoft Passport. Later they tried cards which seemed like a great idea but it never took off. OpenId was an attempt to let you control your own identity and I had it setup on this blog for a long time, but it was never really useful. The crowd at the Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) have met every year for 25 years to find a solution to one of the biggest problems no one understands they have – no one knows you’re a dog on the internet:
Today we relinquish control of our identities to social logins from Google, Facebook and Twitter. Our commerce identities are owned and controlled by Amazon and eBay. We haven’t been frightened by that fact because most of the time everything is fine. Then, when it’s not fine because the big companies change the terms of service or use your personal data to turn a profit, there’s not a lot we can do.
Most of the world is focused on the money produced by public ledger systems backed by blockchain. However, decentralized trust frameworks will provide public benefit that few realize right now. Sovrin is a community driven effort to bring identity and the blockchain together and has the potential to change the way we identify ourselves in modern system. It also has the potential to restore identity to the individuals to who it belongs.
To learn more here’s some background on Sovrin as well as a great presentation by Phil Windley(@windley)