Thursday, 27 March 2014

Digital Identity

The idea of having an identity that is digital is a new, yet established concept that resonates within the majority of people especially Americans; the internet represents traditional American values and ideology through its expression of freedom, new territory and pioneering. The internet is also highly dominated by Americans due to the fact that Americans have created the majority of popular internet services such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr,, Instragram, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Amazon, Google, Craigslist, YouTube, Vine, Ebay, Netflix, Reddit, Skype, 4chan, iTunes, LinkedIn, Wikipedia and Blogger itself, to name a few.

When one thinks of identity, they generally think of the classic categories of origin, sexuality, gender, class and wealth. This traditional form of identity is somewhat irrelevant since these factors do not have to be transferred onto ones digital identity; in reality one might be a twenty four year old, white, English man, however, online he could declare his identity as a Mexican woman in her thirties. It is then that problems arise with digital identities as risks being higher the more digitally involved one becomes. Although the positive effects of the digital revolution are endless, it cannot erase the critical problem that is knowing with whom one is reacting. Though there are attributes associated to ones digital identity, these attributes and identities can be changed, masked or dumped and new ones created.

There is currently no means to precisely determine the identity of a person in the digital world. Despite the many authentication systems that aim to address these problems, there is still a need for a verified identification system that we may never have. Although there is this great risk of false identity over the Internet I find it must be true that the pros exceed the cons and is therefore why people continue to use the Internet despite its consequences; Michael Hagen, CEO of IDchecker, states in a lecture entitled Digital Identity states “For hundreds of years we augmented ourselves, using glasses, hearing aids and artificial limbs to overcome our biological limits. More fully integrating digital technology enables us to truly transcend them. Instead of just our five senses, we will develop new senses and develop new ways of interacting with reality, people and tools. This will have an even larger impact on the way we live and work together.”


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