By Sergio Araiza
There are a series of identifiers that we use with authorities or in our daily lives without realizing it, for example: the DNI (National Identity Document), passport number, driver's license number, phone number. That is, throughout our lives we collect countless "identifiers," but... What is identity?
Identity is one of the main human rights, although it is established in various international legal instruments. In some countries, access to identity is decreed in the constitution of each country, which obliges the State to keep track of people born within its territory by granting them a birth certificate to identify themselves individually. The right to identity is considered a "master key" that opens access to other rights, as it provides legal personality and nationality to people so that they can access services and procedures from beginning to end of their lives.
One of the main problems with identity is the lack of ownership of it and the data it produces. Currently, all records are in the hands of authorities, which are integrated into data that do not communicate with each other, generating a burden for people who require to carry out procedures and request public services to identify themselves and, above all, prove their identity over and over again using public documents issued by the same authorities that require their verification in lengthy procedures.
In that sense, people with the passage of time keep public documents that, if lost or damaged, take away their identity and therefore restrict their access to public and private goods and services. For this reason, identity does not belong to us, nor is it presumed. On the contrary, it is proven in each legal or administrative act that we want to carry out during our lives. Does this sound familiar to you? This problem is not by chance. This consequence is called bureaucracy and arises from the government's distrust to ensure that the "real" person is the one who manages a procedure and not an identity theft.
Although in the last twenty years, mechanisms for identification such as biometric data registration have advanced, the reality is that there are significant problems with security, protection of personal and sensitive data, and depriving citizens of their own identity.
Undoubtedly, technological advancement, and in particular the use of web 3 technologies, allows us to consider today delivering each person ownership of their identity as a way of guaranteeing their human rights and mainly moving towards a decentralized identification model.
In that sense, the work of decentralized or sovereign digital identity requires innovating in the current legal framework and generating the conditions to implement a new way of exercising citizenship regarding identity and the constant need to verify it to live in public.
Sergio Araiza, Growth leader at OS City