Omidyar Network believes the ability to formally identity ourselves is a prerequisite for individual empowerment. Digital IDs can help us prove we are who we say we are—through a finger scan, digital wallet, or password—which in turn unlocks access to education, employment, financial services, communication, travel, and voting.
To be truly empowering, digital forms of identification must embed privacy, inclusion, user value and control, and security. Public and private ID issuers should also build trust through transparency and accountability. We cannot assume technology alone will address these issues. We need to build systems that integrate good policy, standard practice, and ethical technologies. We call these systems Good ID, and we have articulated our point of view here.
To this end, we fund companies and nonprofit organizations that, like us, aspire for all ID to be Good ID.
Specifically, we invest patient capital in mission-aligned start-ups to:
- scale privacy-enhancing ideas,
- build technology that helps institutions comply with and exceed new data regulations, and
- test new business models that can disrupt the existing data economy.
Through our nonprofit partners, we also offer research, tools, training, and incentives for public and private ID issuers. We believe in making it easier for them to do the right thing. As a result, they are better equipped to build Good ID systems.
We also have partnerships with civil society, academic, and media organizations that help protect people’s fundamental human rights. In their own ways, they hold governments and businesses accountable to safeguards and standards.
Omidyar Network also values open debate. In-person dialogues, Good-ID.org, and the Inside Good ID podcast are examples of how we help connect disparate groups that are critical to improving upon and implementing Good ID. Reducing the silos across sectors, services, and geographies is one catalytic way we can help advance Good ID.
This is just the beginning of our investment in digital identity. As we grow our portfolio and learn more, we will continue to invest in privacy-enhancing technologies. We will also build knowledge on how to advance Good ID and call for new norms as well as more transparency, accountability, and debate on digital identity systems.
For more information on how Omidyar Network backs Good ID, please click here.