The biggest risk to the global online economy is broken digital identities
Steve Wozniak and Professor Brian Cox bring industry and academia together to find a solution at Identity First 2021.
Twenty years ago, we were at the dawn of the first digital century, filled with ambition and optimism about how technology and connectivity was going to change our lives for the better. With a growing online economy and an explosion of tech start-ups disrupting the way we consume products and services; we had a lot to be optimistic about.
Fast forward to 2020 and we find ourselves in a world rife with online fraud and scams, with consumers falling foul of social engineering techniques and deep fakes taking over people’s lives and identities. The cost of fraud has spiralled over the last 12 months with both consumers and big businesses falling victim to the risks associated with broken digital identities.
This is not a new problem, governments and regulators around the world have been trying to tackle the issue of online identity for some time. We have seen regulators require multifactor authentication for consumers to access their bank accounts in some countries, and governments are looking into the challenges around digital identity as vaccine passports become a hot topic of discussion.
We have now reached a point where so much of our lives are online, knowing who it is we are interacting with in the digital world has become a profound point. Currently we can no longer trust that people are who they say they are online, and not a bad actor intent on malicious harm. Consumers and businesses are in constant cycle of fighting fraud through education and detection yet often the bad guys win. Our digital identities are broken, and digital trust is at crisis point.
That’s a state of affairs that stands hugely at odds with the increasingly important role that digital identity is already playing in society, giving us access to online services and products that are essential to our daily lives. Without a secure means of identifying ourselves online, the continued risks of conducting business and whole economies online are unthinkable.
As is so often the case, seemingly insurmountable challenges are often overcome when more than one industry breaks out of their silo and decide to act together.
A forum for change
To explore this challenge, Callsign has invited the world’s leading academics, and industry thought leaders to debate how getting the fundamentals of identification, and therefore digital trust right, can help us build a better and more equitable future.
The online event IF (Identity First) 2021 featuring keynotes from Professor Brian Cox CBE FRS and Steve Wozniak, is a platform for thinkers from both academia and industry to examine the challenges of digital identity, and the solutions that will help build digital trust. Identity First is live and free to attend – register here to secure your place.
The event aims to be a starting point to begin having meaningful conversations that cross the boundaries of academia, industry and influencing bodies.
And it’s vital that they do so, because digital identity is the foundation to our global economy. Without significant advances in privacy, fraud prevention and user experience, that trust is slow in coming.
Digital trust for a digital future
Digital trust must be fixed to protect individuals and economies, as well as society and life. Overcoming what appears to be an insurmountable problem will take a collaborative effort and one which straddles more than the technology industry itself.
Addressing the challenges together – Professor Sir Brian Cox (TV presenter and Professor of Particle Physics at the University of Manchester), will join us to look at how academia and industry can collaborate to better understand and solve the challenges of building digital identities and therefore digital trust.
Solving in a user centric way – Steve Wozniak (Co-founder of Apple, philanthropist and inventor of multiple patents in the space of electronics) will offer a keynote that delves into how we can ensure that throughout it all, we keep customers and citizens at the centre.
IF (Identity First) will kickstart ongoing debates and discussions that will help us find the answers to the identity crisis. Actions, as we know, speak louder than words, and the actions that derive from these discussions in the months and years ahead are going to be pivotal.
It’s more than merely shoring up the foundations of digital identity; Our future as a society is going to hinge on digital trust. Equity, security and fairness for all are the real matters at stake, and it's high time that we put a stake in the ground in bringing those about.
If you’d like to be part of the conversation, you can secure your place here.