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The digital divide in Identity Management

May 06, 2012 by Sebastian Rohr

My dear friend Mia Harbitz of the Interamerican Development Bank (www.iadb.org) has recently linked me to of what I felt to be one of the most important papers on “Identity Management” since I work in this field. The paper does not analyze the pros and cons of doing bottom-up or top-down role design, nor does it dive into the depths of Access Governance and streamlining reconciliation efforts in your organization.
It investigates what any of you claim (and probably experienced yourself) to be a birth-right: your own personal identity! We all know the fuzz around Google+ and the headache it gave Kaliya “Identity Woman” when she was blocked from using G+ due to not using her “real name” but a moniker she was widely known under – at least better known as under her real name (which I only found out during the discussion around G+!). The paper - I recommend you all read – does not care about these problems which seem SO huge to us, but merely touch a small fraction of all mankind (which is, by the way, true to about 99% of the problems I solve during my work…) . It cares about the problems of billions of people not even HAVING an identity, because they did not get registered by their mother upon birth and thus do not have a valid a birth certificate.
Without further ado, please all read the paper “Travelling the Distance: a GPS-based study of the access to birth registration services in Latin America and the Caribbean” … It is an eye-opener to the problems of the “real world of identity management” and we as the crusaders of the digital world should not leave behind our fellow humans on the side of the “digital divide” …

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