What is Digital Identity?

Digital identity is the idea that everything interacting in the digital realm has or acquires a set of data or attributes, both inherent and changeable, that uniquely identify them as a person or entity online. Relevant to issues of privacy and authentication, digital identity encompasses a wide array of contextual and technical identifiers that exist in a ontological taxonomy. Traits can be understood and accepted in mutually agreed upon contexts such as when providing data like name and address for a PayPal transaction, and in the far more technical view that describes the relationships of these entities and objects to each other in cyberspace.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • identity literacy and identity construction is (should be) a central element of initial (and further) education. This is particularly relevant with the idea that a learner should be able to have their own personal space from cradle to grave (and put an end to the current fragmentation across space and time): lifelong and life widee personal learning space, ePortfolio, backpack (Open Badges). - Serge Serge Oct 25, 2013 I agree, - Riina_Vuorikari Riina_Vuorikari Oct 31, 2013
  • We talk more and more about any type of analytics to help and support learning processes, having integral data about the learner is important. Now, for example if learning analytics only use data from a LMS used when at school, lots of learning that might take place when not using the LMS is not part of the analytics, thus giving a distorted view of learning. Having more coherent data about the learner, for example, through using ePortfolio thanks to proper Digital identity management, would be a step forward.- Riina_Vuorikari Riina_Vuorikari Oct 31, 2013
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Identity construction as an individuation process and the role digital technologies play in this process.
    There is a problem with the very concept of 'digital identity.' Most definitions, including the one opening this page, tend to focus on digital identity as a set of (digital) attributes or as identifiers, while identity cannot be reduced to any set of attributes. Identity is also different from an identifier — an ID card is not the person's identity but an identifier. Digital technologies affect the many different dimensions of identity construction: self-identity (reflective narratives), identity through others (social inclusion/exclusion) and identification to others (affiliation). - Serge Serge Oct 25, 2013
  • Trust technologies are an important element of identity construction. An organisation like the Kantara Initiative (http://kantarainitiative.org/) supports the development of Trust Technologies used by governments and institutions. Open Badges (http://openbadges.org) is also supporting a trust infrastructure in relation to competencies. - Serge Serge Oct 25, 2013
  • I think this should not be viewed only as a technical issue. More and more kids lives, experiences and learning for that matter are blended between online and offline, as a matter of fact, they probably do not see much difference between the two as the generation before them. - Riina_Vuorikari Riina_Vuorikari Oct 31, 2013
  • I think digital identity is broader than the ideas identified above. It can also refer to the differences between students in the way that they interact, and ultimately learn in, a digital world. - Neil.Ingram Neil.Ingram Nov 3, 2013~

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on European schools education?

  • the impact will be at different levels: infrastructure, architecture and curriculum.
    Curriculum: Mastery of identity construction should become the 9th key competency of the European Framework; it should be the overarching competency subsuming the 8 already existing ones.
    Architecture: Every pupil will have a personal data store or personal locker, where all his/her personal data will be stored. Pupils will be in full control of their personal data. This data will be exploited, under the control of a carer/parent and pupils by services like learning analytics.
    Infrastructure: school information systems will be open to the world safely thanks to trust infrastructures. - Serge Serge Oct 25, 2013
  • Could be better use of technology to support learning processes- Riina_Vuorikari Riina_Vuorikari Oct 31, 2013
  • add your response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon Project sharing form.