Privatizing our digital identities

Ciprian Dorin Craciun

Imagine a parallel universe in which the society has developed so that, just like in our society, every time a person needs to interact with some business or governmental institution, one needs to present some form of document that, within a reasonable limit of certainty, attests that one is who one says to be. Also, to simplify the exercise, imagine that there is exactly one form of such identification document, the ID-card.

What happens if one doesn’t have such an ID-card? One basically doesn’t exist, or at least practically can’t get anything done. Lose it, and one needs to get another ID-card, which is identical to the previous one, obviously after jumping through some hoops in a sacred bureaucratic ritual. If one, for some reason, doesn’t manage to get an identical ID-card to the previous one, but instead gets even a slightly different one, for all practical purposes it’s just like one is now a completely different person that was born just yesterday. (Remember, this is a strange far away parallel universe.)