What determines our identity? How can I ensure my identity is protected in the Internet age? Questions like these are gaining importance as mobile apps for smartphones and the Web become more prevalent. G&D set up its international and interdisciplinary dialogue platform “Identity – Talk in the Tower” to promote discussion on the impact this important issue is having on society. High-ranking representatives from government, business, and the academic community are meeting for the second time today in London. Among the participants are Stefano Rodotà, former President of the European Group on Data Protection, and Juliet Lodge, an expert in ethical issues relating to information technology.
“G&D offers powerful and reliable personal identification solutions that are designed for the networked and globalized world in which we live. However, it is not enough merely to provide technologies we also have to comprehensively review the effects our efforts are having on society,” explains Hans Wolfgang Kunz, member of the Management Board at Giesecke & Devrient, in describing the goal being pursued by “Identity – Talk in the Tower”.
The Munich-based technology group works in partnership with governments, banks, and mobile network operators to provide products and solutions dealing with all aspects of identity protection.
G&D has brought together an interdisciplinary and international group of representatives from government, business and the academic community for its “Identity – Talk in the Tower” event. A number of working groups will meet for the first time meet with the steering committee to discuss preliminary results and establish new ideas to stimulate and direct their ongoing work. The period between the annual events is used by the working groups to research future scenarios and their influence on personal identity, and to develop ideas for user-centered identity management.
Juliet Lodge, Director of the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence, welcomes the initiative and the work being carried out by the Tower Task Forces: “We don’t give enough thought to the influence that our increasingly hyper-networked world has on us. This is why I am keen to attend the ‘Identity – Talk in the Tower’ event, and follow the discussion with great interest.”
Stefano Rodotà, who has extensive experience as a data protection expert, confirms the need for companies to tackle the often contradictory demands of their end users. “On the one hand, we share almost everything there is to know about ourselves in social networks; on the other hand, we want to protect our identity. Companies must respond to this trend and modify their products to accommodate it,” he says.
The “Identity – Talk in the Tower” project was launched in Berlin in May 2012, and will continue to highlight issues relevant to personal identity over the coming years. Conclusions from the project’s first 18 months of work will be presented to the public at a conference in Brussels on November 28, 2013, and will be made available on the http://www.identity-tower.com website.