In the recent times, Blockchain technology has become an important component of many Digital Identity Management infrastructures and architectures across governmental and non-governmental reference implementations such as Estonia Digital Citizenship Program, Guardtime Keyless Security Infrastructure Program, United Nations Welfare Distribution Schemes, Sweden Land Registry Program, Smart Dubai Program etc.
The key components of Blockchain technology such as symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, time stamping, immutable ledger, distributed consensus, peer to peer network etc. are quite useful to establish a secure and tamper-evident digital identity architecture.
Digital identity itself is a notion with semiotic and semantic resonance to the concept of timestamped record with immutable ledger based storage, retention, discovery, and retrieval. This article is thus a deeper inquiry into the social archetypes, information architecture and knowledge collective that constitute a digital identity as a semiotic expression and semantic category. It helps us to position digital identity and its emergent properties in the wider spectrum of web 3.0 ( semantic web ) and decentralized and distributed digital economy.
Identity is a reflection and aggregation with objective dimensions and subjective measures. Identity has implications and impacts on the spatial and temporal existence. Social identity is the result of our life processes written on a social context. Technological identity, on the other hand, is the fragments and facades of social identity written onto the technological medium. When we live in a technology dominated world, it is quite natural that the social emergence of identity becomes obscure and cryptic. It is also due to the multitude of factors contributing to the convergence and confluence of social identity.
Identity is an expression and enumeration. It is a differentiated data structure and an integrated social structure. Our identities are the collection of our evolving reputations and our reputations are the periodic and instantaneous instances of our identities.
Our identities get crystallized and condensed at a faster pace in a digital economy. Our reputations become more transient, volatile, inflated, consumable, surreal, amorphous, virtual, illusory and sometimes delusional in a digital lattice. Henceforth, in the confluence of digital and physical existences, our identities evolve into ephemeral and hyperbolic objects based on the relative proportion of digital constituents within!
Digital Identity has become the anchor and pivot of social capital experiments across the world. The transition from social democracy and social business into a social capital based digital economy has become the natural transgression and eventual resort for many failed, failing and ailing nation states. Prosperous and powerful nations consider digital identity as a resourceful data-centric tool for the targeted delivery of social services and welfare schemes by democratic governments. Some other cynical and dictatorial regimes could be using digital identity for surveillance and targeted the monitoring of selected segments of populations.
When we consider the broad spectrum of semiotic and ontological terrains, digital identity has wider implications and dimensions. Digital identity is indeed a discrete log and a latent manifest and a dialogic digest of divergent and different identity expressions. It has elements of economic identity, social identity, religious identity, ethnic identity, academic identities, spatial identities, temporal identities, abstract identities, biometric identities etc.
Who needs to enumerate and encrypt your digital identity?
Beyond all the definitions and deliberations, digital identity is going to become ubiquitous and pervasive in this era. It is of interest to nation states, non-governmental organizations, donor agencies, funding agencies and all sort of stakeholders in the social capital convergence.
Digital identity is going to be a multi-lateral, multi-dimensional expression of social capital interests of various stakeholders. Physical identities will be just the basic layers in the end to end equations of digital identity. It will have a minimalist and semiotic relationship with the physical and socioeconomic identity of a citizen.
Digital identity development projects involve mapping social identity into the spatial and temporal dimensions of technology-centric identity formats. Hence digital identity is an expression entwined within the dominant social archetypes prevalent in the political and cultural economic layers. Digital identity is hence a metamorphosis of social archetypes and the information capital through a spatial and temporal lens in a geopolitical and proto-cultural context. Due to this ambivalent nature, encoding and encrypting digital identity will be an interesting information capital development initiative. As it is enmeshed and entwined in social archetypes, digital identity will become a very valuable and vivid source of resource for social capital in the emerging times of fragmented nationalities, ethnic expressions and micro-political experiments.