Digital trust: the cornerstone to an equitable future

Digital identity has long been recognised as a key foundation of the future. As we find ourselves moving into that future at a faster pace than anybody had anticipated, it is important that we ensure that that particular foundation is structurally sound.

Currently, it isn't. With online adoption at an all-time high, customers have high expectations of their online services - expectations that are not being met. The prevalence of online fraud is rising at an alarming rate; the majority of preventative measures add undue friction to the user journeys. As things stand, digital trust is broken.

This is a state of affairs that stands hugely at odds with the increasingly important role that digital trust - and by extension, digital identity - is already playing in society, industry, and academia. Each of those fields has a role to play in solving what is a global problem. To do so effectively, they need to break out of their siloes and act together.

It is vital that they do so, because if digital identity is the foundation then digital trust is the cornerstone. Without significant advances in privacy, fraud prevention and user experience, that trust is slow in coming.

A forum for change

In order to build and maintain that trust, siloes need to be broken down. The obvious starting point for achieving this is to begin having meaningful conversations that cross the boundaries of academia, industry and influencing bodies. Those boundaries have already been blurred for some time, and the continuing evolution of technology is helping to provide the osmosis necessary for discussion.

In practice, those conversations have yet to happen. The intentions have certainly been there. However, the Covid-19 pandemic that has fuelled the uptake of online adoption - and simultaneously, the rise in fraud - has also taken conventional events and forums where minds could meet off the table.

Digital trust for a digital future

It is important that those conversations happen though, which is the reason that IF (Identity First) 2021 came into being. An online event featuring keynotes from Professor Brian Cox CBE FRS and Steve Wozniak, its aim is to bring provide a platform for thinkers from each of these fields to examine the challenges of digital identity and the solutions that will help build digital trust.

It also aims to kickstart ongoing debates and discussions that will help us find the answers to the identity crisis. Actions, as we know, speak louder than words and the actions that derive from these discussions in the months and years ahead are going to be pivotal.

It's more than merely shoring up the foundations of digital identity. Our future as a society is going to hinge on digital trust. Equity, security and fairness for all are the real matters at stake, and it is high time that we put a stake in the ground in terms of bringing those about.

Identity First is live and free to attend - click here to secure your place.

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