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If identity is the foundation of society, and the way in which we communicate shapes how our society operates, then I wonder how our society will change as our communication of identity changes?
Some recent developments for identity communication are Decentralised Identifiers and Verificable Credentials (DID’s and VC’s), which make identity communication more efficient, accessible and effective (as most new technologies do). The use of DID’s and VC’s propose some new opportunities and challenges for us as an industry and a nation.
Earlier this month we had a great discussion about digital identity and what this means for Māori. And while we identified that Māori already have a long history of developed systems for communicating identity, there has been a need to develop new methods to communicate identity to different organisations and institutions for different purposes. Some examples of these being Tribal registries, Māori land court records, and Iwi or Hapū membership cards. This raises questions around whether Te Ao Māori will then adopt the use of DID’s and VC’s and how this technology could strengthen Māori identity and Tino Rangatiratanga.
It’s also important for us as an industry and a nation to prepare for new identity issuers and credentials and ensure we avoid situations like this, where an Indigenous grandfather and 12-year-old were handcuffed in front of a Vancouver bank after trying to open an account.
Digital Identity NZ