Digital Identities in the Smart City: Facts and Fictions



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Photo by Joey Graham.

In a Smart City, how will we identify people, organisations and things in the digital realm? How will we decide who, and what, to trust? Will we have choice and agency?

Digital identities are used by people to validate who they are over digital mediums. But who owns that digital identity? Well, ideally you do. Enter the concept of self-sovereign identity, where the individual identity holder can access and use their credentials on the network whenever and however they please. Imagine what happens when your leather wallet—holding your driver’s license, Myki card, Medicare card, credit cards, photo of your dog, cash—becomes a ‘digital wallet’ held on your smartphone. What does this mean in practical terms? How will it affect those who don’t have a personal digital device? How will it affect Australian culture and international mobility? How many identities can one person have?

Join a panel of futurists, designers and creative thinkers will explore a variety of scenarios around the Smart City to highlight barriers and benefits of a future where our identifying documents and objects are digital. This promises to be a lively and highly topical discussion with the expert panel sharing facts and fictions around digital identity, something that already affects how we operate today, and is likely to affect everyone in the future.

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Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the Yaluk-ut Weelam as the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet. Yaluk-ut Weelam means ‘people of the river camp’ and is connected with the coastal land at the head of Port Phillip Bay, extending from the Werribee River to Mordialloc. The Yaluk-ut Weelam are part of the Boon Wurrung, one of the five major language groups of the greater Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to the land, their ancestors and their elders—past, present and to the future.