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The K(NO)W Identity Conference by Bo Wang, Impact Investing Intern and student at American University

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From the past to the present, people always ask "Who are we?" Today, in a technological era, we have to ask ourselves: "What is my identity?" How does identification relate to our lives?

To help address these issues, on May 15th, One World Identity held The K(NO)W Identity Conference, a platform for participants to connect with identity industry leaders. There were 200 speakers, and more than 300 companies in attendance at this conference. This is a moment for people in the identity industry to learn from other experts. In addition, each session delivered ideas about how the identity industry relate to business, finance, security, government regulation, and so on. However, speakers pursued a neutral position and to sought to simply communicate ideas related to identity across different industries.

From eighteen (18) first day sessions, I attended three related to government, privacy, technology/implementation.

The first session I attended focused on using and mana…

Identity and Blockchain by Henry Zhang, Impact Investing Intern, University of Toronto

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With the breakout in the price of bitcoin (from $1177 on March 16 to $1832 on May 16) and the rise of blockchain technology, people now have a “blockchain” view on the future of society. Just about every industry has to deal with internet data and the inherit the risks - data integrity, data transparency, and/or third party inefficiency. This means they can all use blockchain technology and the distributed ledger technology to mitigate or eliminate some or all of the these risks.

One industry which has recently gotten a lot of attention is the identity management industry. Fortunately, since I am in Washington DC for the summer, I had an opportunity to attend the 2017 K(NO)W Identity “intellectual fest” and hear what experts in the identity management field have to say about the issue.

Admittedly, this was a hard conversation to follow. Half of the time they were throwing out jargon I did not understand and the other half of the time they did not provide clear, concise answers to ques…

Edward Snowden on Identity

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In what must be considered a successful and interesting approach, the KNOW Identity Conference focused on identity related issues and identity related investment opportunities.

The first speaker was Edward Snowden, appearing via Skype from an undisclosed location. Mr. Snowden made a number of interesting comments.

He noted the government’s primary role in the provision of authenticated documents relating to identity. Indeed, supplying “identity” is one of the core functions of a modern government. Mr. Snowden suggested that governments focus on enabling people to interact with one another, secure in the knowledge of true identity. This needs to be facilitated both locally and globally, that is, you need to communicate securely (secure with respect to knowing the identity of the other person) over both great distances and/or over a shop counter.

As a way of facilitating this thinking, Mr. Snowden noted that one of the core ways to enhance identity is to have governments ask the questi…