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?

  • MasterCard Is Making a Credit Card With an Embedded Fingerprint Reader this has a potential for student authentication (Even my twin cannot use my ID to take my test). http://tinyurl.com/pgoqg78 - Mark.fink Mark.fink Oct 20, 2014

  • I wonder if single sign on should be merged here. Ultimately, the ability to have strong digital identity is going to facilitate single sign on, which then is the gateway to all kinds of information sharing. Initiatives like the Tin Can API (http://tincanapi.com/), might have mopre opportunity if there was a strong digital identity. - david.thomas david.thomas Oct 21, 2014
  • For me a Digital ID in an academic context means that every person has one ID for all his services and for all his changing roles. So you get your ID when you are entering a university as a student and you keep it also when you change university or when you become a researcher or a teacher. And all the services for academic institutions and for faculty are connected to the rights given to the actual role. Very important is that this ID is provided by a trustful institution. It can also be connected to a standardized international identity like ORCID. So it helps others identify authors of publications, creators of research data, teachers and it is the basic for a single-sign-on for academic services like access to library holdings.- rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Oct 27, 2014
  • The digital ID is also closely connected to the e-portfolio. With an unique ID students can take their credit points, works etc. with them if they change university. - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Oct 27, 2014
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • What I miss in the description are the ethical and philosophical aspects associated with digital identity. And what perspective HE institutes take regarding the collection of data about their students or the collection of data about prospective students or employees. At the same time digital identity is important when you consider taking online assessments but perhaps other approaches for verification are better than collecting information about someone from a large diversity of sources. - e.degroot e.degroot Oct 18, 2014 - helga helga Oct 20, 2014
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on European schools education?

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

  • Swiss EDU-ID: University members already use a wide range digital identities, for example to access scientific data, training materials and networks. However, many of them are of limited use as they only work for a specific service, time period or task. The Swiss edu-ID ties up all the loose ends to function as a lifelong, internationally valid educational passport. http://www.switch.ch/uni/projects/eduid/ - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Oct 27, 2014
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