Video: Trust in the post-identity world (Identiverse closing keynote)

Stephen Wilson speaking at Identiverse 2022

I gave a mainstage keynote speech on the closing day of the Identiverse 2022 conference. This was the second of my two presentations at Identiverse, in Denver, Colorado, June 2022.


The internet, e-commerce and digital discourse are dominated by identity. Until now, identity was all we had when trying to trust anyone or anything online. We developed a terrible habit of over-identifying: relying parties collect circumstantial evidence (like CVVs and SSNs) instead of properly verifying what really matters. People divulge excessive personal data, often unwittingly, which leaks and gets abused by criminals.

Too much identity is sloshing around.

Is there a paradigm shift coming? The most important developments in our industry — self-sovereign identity, the FIDO Alliance, cryptographically verifiable credentials — are not about identity, but authorship, provenance, integrity and control. The parallel universe of distributed ledger technology is delivering CDBCs and NFTs. The common breakthrough is digital originality, something we never thought possible. Originality is key in the fight for digital truth and accuracy.

In this session, we move the conversation beyond identity and imagine a world where cryptographic infostructure is as universal as electricity or clean water, and all the data we need is hallmarked, traceable and trustworthy thanks to authentication technologies.

I’ve also blogged about these issues at How the language and metaphors of identity mislead us.

Annotated slides from my Identiverse speech are available here (PDF): Steve Wilson Identiverse 2022 Post Identity Trust (0.6.1) HANDOUTS.

Update 18 November 2022: Here’s an updated version of the handout.