Identity 2030

29 January, 2016 by Tyler Welmans

It's 2030. You own your digital identity. It exists in one place, and is globally accessible. It is private by default and can only be read by you. You may choose to show parts of it to others, but the choice is yours.

You no longer need to log into services online. Your device handles authentication requests on your behalf using a universal authentication process. There is no longer a slightly out of date copy of your identity stored within 200 different organisations, things have changed. When organisations need access to your data, they ask you. Organisations no longer need to retain your personal information, they request it when required, you are in control and your credit card information can no longer be stolen when a company you once ordered pizza from is compromised. Advertisers offer to pay you for access to your identity attributes, so that they can better market products to you, you are free to opt in or opt out. You no longer have a physical passport, or a physical driving license, those are just attributes of your digital ID, endorsed by trusted authorities and provable on request. Physical certificates of ownership no longer exist, your digital ID now links you to the digital assets you own. Your car, your house and your pension are simply entries on a distributed asset register, linked to your identity. You can exchange anything of value online with others without third party involvement, choosing only to transact with other digital identities that have been endorsed by people you trust. 

It’s 2030. You are no longer just you. You are represented by a swarm of autonomous applications created by and for you, capable of owning assets, transacting and trading on your behalf, and of complex decision making. Always awake, always connected, these applications exist independently online, on a secure, decentralised platform alongside your own digital identity. You upgrade them occasionally, though some third party features remain costly and unobtainable. These virtual robots handle your basic administration, they manage the stock in your fridge as well as disbursing payment when your car refuels, they ensure the heating is on when you get home, that you are using the most efficient utility suppliers, and in an emergency, they will alert response teams on your behalf.

It’s 2030. You have a score. The world has become a game rich with behavioural incentives. Walking 100 meters gets you a point, taking the stairs at work does the same. Big Mac? Lose a point. Sensors everywhere connected with a global identity ledger authorise micro-rewards when sponsored actions are completed by verified identities. Most forms of insurance are purchased in real time, with costs calculated using a rich pool of data from weather conditions to genetic risk, and of course, your score. People are healthier. The heavy state burden of healthcare cost is finally beginning to decrease as the incentivisation of basic healthy living slowly takes effect.

It’s 2030. Time is money. You no longer have a regular 9-5 job with a single employer. Your digital calendar contains 24 units of time each day. 24 digital assets. You reserve two thirds of them for yourself, donate a proportion to causes you care about, and the rest you auction. Every few months you refresh your profile, specify target organisations, locations and the work you are prepared to do, and issue the next thousand hours of your time for sale on the global digital marketplace where it trades alongside assets of every sort. You track the value of your time like a stock, if demand for your skills rises it trades higher as resellers barter on secondary markets, enabling you to be more selective and set higher prices for the next batch. You are empowered, you gain rich experience, control and flexibility over your working patterns, and organisational efficiency, now unencumbered of rigid and inflexible human resourcing models, has improved an order of magnitude.

It’s 2016. You are reading a blog. Get back to work, there is a lot to do.