As the digital age transforms our lives, having a unique digital identity is increasingly an essential component of participating in modern daily life. It is a key component of empowering people to participate fully in society and the digital economy in new ways.
Amidst an accelerating adoption of technology, more than 1.1 billion people lack access to official identification worldwide, and even in developed economies people do not have the necessary privacy, security, and control over their digital information. An effective digital identity – private, secure, and controlled by the individual – will enable individuals to resources to which they are entitled, such as government services, financial services, education, e-commerce, and communications. Read our developing point of view on the privacy considerations associated with digital identity here.
This participation in turn serves as a catalyst for innovation in other areas that Omidyar Network supports, such as property rights, financial inclusion, governance & civic engagement, and education. We want to empower individuals and create strong and responsive institutions that deliver a healthy society for all.
As we gain greater experience in this field, we will refine our efforts to promote the design and implementation of identification systems that prioritize individual privacy, user consent and data control, and security. We will continue to invest in companies that use technology to empower individuals in a secure, cost-effective, and privacy-enhancing manner. We will also build our knowledge on how to create the necessary conditions so that digital identity empowers people around the world. Finally, it is important that we join others to call for global standards of transparency and accountability and share the lessons and best practices we have learned from our work to date with others.