Governing identity on the Internet

08 November 2012 - A Workshop on Baku,Azerbaijan


From single-sign-on to federated systems to Whois data associated with Internet resources, countless individuals, business and government organizations have a stake in Internet identity information and its governance. While territorially-based governments have historically played a central role in their citizens' identity, it is private service providers and individual users that might be considered the de facto managers of Internet identity information. Private, rule-based arrangements (e.g., “trust frameworks”) have emerged in many industry sectors to help manage Internet identity transactions. Nonetheless, many states are actively pursuing digital identity efforts (OECD 2011), including the United States government's National Strategy for Trusted Identity in Cyberspace (NSTIC) which is standing up a governance body and the European Commission's proposed regulation on electronic identification and trusted services for electronic transactions. These efforts seek to promote greater adoption and interoperability of Internet identity solutions.

What are the appropriate roles of governments, the private sector and individuals in Internet identity? Are there benefits or risks of various Internet identity governance solutions being proposed? How compatible are they with the transnational nature of the Internet? Which stakeholders will determine the standards and policies for how Internet identity information is created, transmitted, utilized, or protected? This workshop, drawing on expertise from business, technical community, civil society and government actors, explores this active yet under examined area of Internet governance. The format of the workshop will include short position statements from the panelists followed by a question and answer session facilitated by a moderator involving the audience.