By Sena Loyd, President, Web3 ID Coalition
We all know that our personal data is being utilized and monetized by large tech brands on a regular basis.
What most of us don’t know is what, if anything, we can do to regain control of our digital identities.
This lack of viable digital privacy is more than just a source of anxiety and annoyance for most Americans, even though trying to remember our latest username and password is, admittedly, quite annoying! It’s also a gateway to widespread digital identity theft and fraud.
One-third of Americans will face some form of identity theft in their lifetimes. No one is immune to the threat of digital fraud—not even our elected officials at the highest levels of government.
But what is the path forward for individuals who want to regain control of their digital identities? The current landscape is muddled at best, and we are dealing with new concepts and technologies on a daily basis.
In order to spark real, tangible change, we need a diverse coalition of leaders with a shared vision to inform policy that paves the way to making individual data ownership possible.
That’s why we’ve created the Web3 ID Coalition—a member-based initiative dedicated for public policy advocacy that gives individuals, not corporations, ownership of their digital identities in the transition to a blockchain-based Web3 world and beyond.
We’re here to help government leaders and policymakers understand and legislate Web3 digital identity, with the goal of providing greater economic opportunity, freedom, and security than we have today.
In fulfilling our mission, we are committed to facilitating activities and programs built upon five core beliefs of our organization – inherent truths attracting other like-minded leaders to join along with us:
#1. All individuals have a right to privacy.
We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right. The reality for most Americans operating in the current Web2 world is, they’ve relinquished that right, simply because they don’t know how to protect it.
Businesses also face big challenges in protecting customer privacy in the Web2 space. They are vulnerable to cyber attacks that put customer data and their corporate reputation at risk.
Society continues to accept this as an inevitable “cost of doing business” in the Web2 world, and there is no other choice today. Without intervention, these problems will continue.
#2. An individual’s option to own and control their digital identity is a right that must be statutorily preserved.
That’s where policymakers on the Hill come into the picture. To a large degree, lawmakers have also been unsure of how to best protect consumer privacy in a rapidly changing digital climate. But there is a bipartisan interest on Capitol Hill in codifying legislation that puts ownership of digital identities back into the hands of individuals.
The congressional Improving Digital Identity Act seeks to “establish a government-wide effort to develop secure methods for governmental agencies to protect the privacy and security of individuals and support reliable, interoperable digital identity verification in the public and private sectors.”
And in his State of the Union address, President Joe Biden called for “bipartisan legislation to stop Big Tech from collecting personal data on our kids and teenagers online,” signaling the unveiling of a wider tech agenda focused on protecting children’s online privacy.
One of our primary objectives is to influence public policy on Web3 identity that also will be applicable to future Internet protocols as they develop. And we strive to cultivate a mutually beneficial, nonpartisan relationship with federal lawmakers.
We need government leaders, because they make the laws that statutorily preserve individual ownership of digital identity. And government leaders understand that the Web3 ID Coalition will help set the agenda for crafting and passing effective digital identity legislation for greater security, transparency, and trust for individuals and businesses alike.
#3. Blockchain and related technologies provide users with tools to gain control over their data and its use.
We advocate for programming, and research to inform federal policy about the opportunities and benefits of a decentralized, distributed, and blockchain-based Internet, empowering individuals and businesses in the transition from Web2 to a Web3 and beyond world.
A blockchain-based Internet shifts the paradigm from data privacy and protection to data ownership. This Web3 future offers greater simplicity, convenience, transparency, and control. Here’s what the future could look like:
- Instantly verifiable credentials will make handwritten notes with logins and digital password vaults a thing of the past.
- A social media user can own a single, cross-channel persona, taking followers with them from platform to platform.
- Shoppers won’t be flooded with marketing emails after purchasing online products. Instead, Internet retailers will offer a permissions checklist, leaving it up to users to decide what personal data they want to share.
- College transcripts and other certifications can be accessed and verified on demand.
- Travelers can skip long customs and immigration lines with instantly verified passports for faster airport travel.
- In healthcare, a patient can store their health data on the blockchain and share or revoke selective pieces with providers and payers across the healthcare ecosystem.
- In banking, a user can remove access to their information from one bank as they begin a relationship with another.
#5. Change is possible, and movements are born from a committed core of visionaries.
The Web3 ID Coalition is a growing group of like-minded businesses and individuals who are on a mission to raise awareness about the urgency and implications of letting big tech have sole control of the transition to Web3 and beyond.
We represent organizations from a wide range of sectors, including Web3 ID companies, established ID companies, consulting organizations, and financial institutions, to name a few. Our inaugural membership base includes the following companies:
- Identity promotes social welfare to create a world where individuals and organizations freely access decentralized identity verification services.
- Unum ID provides a marketplace for verified identity data, shared with full user consent.
- Blockchains, Inc. is committed to an interoperable Web3 ID that can be your Digital Identity wherever you go in the emerging Web3 world.
- GenuBank brings personalized banking solutions to the communities it serves.
- Solutions At Work is a trusted source of HR and payroll solutions, helping clients mitigate risk, increase performance and enhance workplace cultures.
At the Web3 ID Coalition, we’re catalyzing a movement toward personal data ownership, harnessing the promise of blockchain technologies to power the future of the Internet. We invite you to join us in our mission to shape future Web3 ID legislation and policy reforms.
We offer multiple levels of membership to meet the diverse needs of our members. Start your journey today by visiting our website at https://web3idcoalition.org/.