Side event Davos 2014

Addressing Identity of People and Things, Privacy, Security and Trust in the Cloud

Belvédere Hotel, Davos
Meeting room Ducan
Wednesday 22 January 2014, 07:15 – 08:30

As part of the World Economic Forum in Davos, WISeKey sponsors a side event on how to find a new footing for the development of solutions to critical, unresolved issues in identity management, privacy, security and trust in digital communication. Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS) has also provided co-sponsorship.

The content is planned under the joint responsibility of the International Secure Electronic Transactions Organization (OISTE), based in Geneva, Switzerland; and the International Organization for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development (IKED), based in Malmö, Sweden. It is also a reflection of the project “Global Identity Networking of Individuals – Support Action” (GINI –SA) of the European Union. GINI proposes a roadmap for a new model of digital identity management:

Target audience: decision makers in media, industry, government, academia, financial institutions and multilateral bodies.

* * * * *

In a couple of years, one out of two persons on earth will use Internet. One out of four will belong to a social network. By then, the combined Internet economies of the G-20 will reach $4.2 trillion and mobile devices will account for some 80 per cent of all broadband connections. Meanwhile, following the rise of cloud computing, convergence and much enhanced interoperability, the technology will be in place to link and exploit the enormous amount of data thereby produced in ways that are now unthinkable.

However, what conditions will apply to the use of personal data? How are individuals to cope in a digital universe in which all and everyone, human beings and “things”, blend in one mesh? Will individual users have a word to say in how the data they generate is managed? Will the politics of the Internet evolve in directions that are yet unknown? Will the human right to privacy set a new course for Internet?

At present, financial and commercial markets, and – apparently – governments as well, are moving at high pace to gain access to and exploit the personal data and communications of all human beings. Technical progress will quickly take us into the stratosphere of capacity in this respect – unless countervailing forces are put into place. Without some sort of checks and balances, companies – and presumably, governments – will gain entirely new means to abuse the end user.

Given the cross-border nature of the digital world and the contradictory interests of different countries, this is not primarily a matter of regulation. In fact, too much state intervention would be counterproductive, although new legislation and state partnership is required.

In contrast to the current public debate, the Davos event will focus on the tools which will make market forces start working for users in protecting and managing their digital identities and personal data. This will require that the evolving undefined cloud of digital communications is granted a new kind of architecture. We need to move towards a setup in which users, relying parties, and data bases are appropriately serviced by a new breed of operator functions.

The GINI consortium proposes an INDI – Individual Identity Networking – ecosystem; where the individual will gain control of his/her identity and thus the revenue potential of personal data.

The establishment of an INDI ecosystem stands to generate tremendous value through a new sort of functionality in regard to identity management, security, privacy and trust in digital communication. But what is required for the rise of operators that are able to deliver the implied kind of services? How can they be mandated and certified to guard the diverse needs of users, relying parties and data providers on terms that would allow for global trust among all? Would a supranational coordinating body capable of certifying and cross-certifying a range of authentication systems, using a common standard, be required?

* * * * *

On this basis, WISeKey, OISTE and IKED invite you to participate in this session and contribute to an orderly exchange of views on how to move away from our present conundrum by exploring ways forward on issues that are fundamentally important to market efficiency and the standing of human beings in the digital world.

The session will highlight the risks of the current development but also examine ways to turn things around. The session will add insights how the current frameworks can be extended and revamped to meet with the envisioned kinds of functionality. Panellists and participants from around the world will bring insights what it takes to achieve a completely different kind of arena: one in which market forces support the rise of operators that are driven by the value generated by user-centric digital communication in which individuals control their own identities and personal information, and in which data governance is optimized with a view to the virtues of security, privacy, accountability and trust.

Finally, the session will venture into possibilities for launching pilots in key sectors, spanning national borders to advance, test and further examine a new generation of innovations and viable business models.

* * * * *