You will not be able to use the majority of modern applications simply by downloading them, as after installing them, you will be asked to confirm your identity in one way or another. This can be seen as a standard registration procedure asking you to enter your phone number and email, as well as authentication using your Facebook or Gmail account.
The concept of the second option is convenient for people who want to avoid the long and often boring process of creating a new account. But, when choosing it, remember that you are, in fact, transferring your personal data.
New Rules of the Game Are Already on the Way
Blockchain also gives us the opportunity to make even more manipulations with our data as we can create our virtual alter egos which will be with us anywhere.
Places like gas stations, grocery stores, and cinemas serve as an example of how people will be able to pay their bills in the future with the help of personal self-identification. There are already a number of companies offering their customers the possibility of paying for services using such systems. Among them:
uPort is an identification system that registers the identity of users on the Ethereum blockchain. With it, you can send and request credentials, sign transactions, and manage keys and data.
Civic offers multifactor authentication without a username, password, third-party authenticator, or physical hardware token. It is provided with the help of blockchain and biometrics on the smartphone. The latter should be paid special attention to.
UniquID uses a blockchain to automate user identity management, protecting businesses and increasing productivity.
Nevertheless, like any other technology, the system of personal self-identification can be used both for good and as a tool of dictatorships and even possible global dystopias.
People should be very cautious about the rapidly-evolving digital identification system, taking into account all social, economic, and cultural aspects, forming an appropriate legal framework that could limit its use by hostile forces.
On the other hand, a decentralized identity can offer mankind a much more open society. It will also help form a completely new economy based on different ways of sharing and uniting people around the same motivational models. Let us take at least the example of the creative industry. Thanks to a decentralized identity, artists will be able to attract investors who will buy whole works or even acquire shares of a work.
But here you need to remember a fine line that is well-known to physicians and pharmacists. The same substance in one dosage can be a treatment, and in a slightly larger one become a poison. It is worth every effort to avoid situations in which depositors influence the creative person and his vision.
There is an opinion that the confirmation of one's identity with the help of digital self-identification can only strengthen the public institutions that the evangelists of blockchain always dreamed of getting rid of.
Is It Possible to Avoid Rolling into a Dystopia?
The use of this technology to extend a license, obtain a loan, or receive any public service can be very attractive, but this is only one side of the coin. The other is a broad field for the activities of a totalitarian system. We have already written that China is almost completely re-enacting the story shown in the first episode of the third season of the series "Black Mirror,” where every person in their society is ranked. In China, they have already assigned a social credit rating to citizens whose status varies depending on good or bad behavior.
Assessments have serious consequences: everything from internet speed to prices and education levels now depends on the rating.
Like many other issues related to the development of decentralized systems, the social role and the need to introduce personal self-identification is, in many ways, a "gray zone" issue in terms of ethics.
In general, if you look at this problem from a different angle, then even the "good" embodiment of this concept into life looks quite intimidating.
Man evolves not only within the whole society but also as a separate individual. The ability to forget something or forget something about themselves was an inalienable opportunity for a person to move forward. It remains to be decided whether this possibility is an indisputable right of the individual or not.
Is it worth keeping all of the data and events of a person's life in an unchanged form without the possibility of removing them? In any case, advanced technology should at least be used for good, not for seeking to increase anxiety and competition in society. Nevertheless, it is already obvious that new technologies in general, and blockchains in particular, teach us to be more open to the world, and to strive for greater social mobility and the acquisition of new knowledge.