Back in the ‘70s it was de rigour for cool people to be undergoing an identity crisis, and this involved trying to fathom out who the hell one was, why one had been put on the planet in the first place, and what other people would make of one’s extraordinary persona. This malaise could continue for several years and was only cured by a major distraction like falling in love.
Roll forward to the matter of fact ‘10s, and an identity crisis is more likely to involve losing one’s user names and passwords, or worse still having someone else steal them.
The very concept of identity has mutated into a set of letters, numbers, and codes by which organisations can recognise us as unique individuals; so much for the soul searching of previous generations.
The recently enacted GDPR tacitly assumes that identity crises have been banished, that organisations and individuals can immediately recognise each other, and that there is never a problem in tying together all the personal information that lies behind different doors, accessed by recognising identifiers like email address, cookie ID, mobile phone number etc.
This clearly is not the case, and for it to change, organisations are going to have to put in place a much more sophisticated process for identity recognition; something that we call a digital passport.
As we frequently change many of our identifiers e.g. get a new mobile phone number, different email, new tablet etc. an organisation needs to maintain an historic record of all means by which we have previously communicated our persona to it. This historic set of identifiers can then give us the best chance of recognising an individual when they appear though one of our many communications channels.
Developing this kind of digital passport is something that we have made a key component in the design of UniFida, our cloud based single customer view technology.