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The Future of Online Identity

On May 11th 2023, MultiMinds organised its second exclusive event to discuss the future opportunities and challenges of data. We were inspired by 3 expert presentations and had vivid discussions with a diverse group of 30 experts from marketing, BI, IT, privacy, etc. Of course, this inspiration and positive vibe was also enabled by a wonderful dinner at the beautiful vineyard of Valke Vleug.

Are we human, or are we dancer?

Last year we covered the future equation of data through a panel discussion with a subject matter expert from politics, a CMO from vendor side, and a VP eCommerce from an advertiser. This year we tackled a topic that is a challenge for all our clients within the next year: the future of online identity.

The entire social dynamic that exists on the web today can be traced almost entirely to the "incentives" created by the online ad industry over the years. Were those the right incentives? Was that impact all that positive? The disappearance of the 3rd party cookie creates new forms of online identity, new revenue models, new power structures, etc ... and therefore, new incentives that are going to influence collective online behaviour.

What impact will this have on the marketeer of tomorrow and their marketing strategy? What does this online future really look like in 3 or 5 years? And what are the trends that will drive this future?

The Future of (Online) Identity

Wouter Van Geluwe, Chief Technologist at Adobe, but above all a very inspiring and objective expert with a clear vision but open mind, kicked off by subverting our event title within the first 10 seconds of his presentation. “It’s about customer identity overall, not just online.” And of course, he’s right. Customer experience needs to be optimised in an omni-channel world, and is not about personalising your email campaign out of your little silo.

With some examples of personal experiences Wouter illustrated the need for a shift in marketing strategies and inspired us with some tangible actions an organisation could take both on technology level as well as, and probably more important, company culture and governance level.

Internet of Value

Our own data nerds Nicolas Lierman and Maria Clara De Araujo Alves from our Data Innovation and Acceleration Lab (DIAL) took it a step further with the evolution from Web2.0 to Web3.0.

A research by Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens shows that 94% of people are concerned about the protection of their personal data. The increasing awareness of the consumer regarding the protection of his/her data, together with the decentralisation of tech authorities like Google and Facebook, opens the door for solutions around Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI). Nicolas and Maria Clara are convinced that SSI will change our future when it comes to ownership and control of your own identity, and that it will enhance the security and privacy to reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud. And it will rule out any cookies in the not so far future.

Take Control with a Pod

Not yet Web3.0 but a tangible step forward is the Solid platform, launched by Athumi, and explained clearly by Dorien Bauwens, Lead Solid Program at Athumi. The principle of Solid is in line with the ambitions of the SSI solutions: take control of your data. Basically, Solid is a Data Vault where you manage your data such as a diploma, a driving license or medical information, and you decide when and with who (a private company or public service) you want to share it. For example, if you apply for a job and you need to proof that you successfully obtained certain diploma’s, you can integrate the proof of your diploma in your Vault, and have them confirmed to the application portal (you could share your full diploma, or just reply ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without sharing the actual diploma’s.

This initiative comes from the Flemish government, and the ambition is to conquer Europe. We should definitely be proud for this level of innovation starting from our small Flemish region.

The positive feedback of all attendees and speakers definitely motivates us to already start preparing next year’s event. Ping us if you want to be part of it. And if you need to tackle the above challenges with (online) identity as well, do contact us and let’s discuss how we can support you!