Response Essay to Mitzi Laszlo’s The Missing Puzzle Piece

I wrote a brief essay in response to a very interesting article written by Mitzi Laszlo titled:

The Missing Puzzle Piece: it’s time for the institutional and digital to intertwine

For those of you interested in securing our digital rights in the future, I encourage you to read her article.

What follows is my response:

Mitzi,

I very much agree with your premise on the necessity of a universal data identifier to take the flow of information out of the hands of corporate interests but I guess, as they say, the devil is in the details. To begin with, I wonder if there is a consideration to encode the IDs to incorporate country, state, and municipality zones to localize the identification protocol and to possibly allow the ability to manage ID clusters through local public institutions.

I also wonder if there would be an alternative to managing global IDs through a “boots on the ground” organization such as the United Nations. I would imagine the goal would be to maximize adoption across the globe so utilizing an organization with the difficult mandate of preserving world peace might create ideological barriers to adoption that might not exist through a more neutral party. Wouldn’t the W3C organization be a better fit for this as they are an international web standards organization? If not, possibly a new international body created from members from international governmental agencies, think tanks, academic, and technological organizations? Just curious.

What you layout is incredibly important as putting the flow of information into the hands of the users out of the reach of business concerns will be important for a society to reach deeper into the well of human potential. But in the U.S. alone, since 1994, the wireless spectrum has been on the auction block to some of the world’s largest companies, creating a precedent that may be incredibly difficult to undo. So the same could be said for human digital rights, where the longer we wait, the more difficult it will become to break the controls over our own data. Creating an open, politically neutral, transparent framework to facilitate this reality is a tall order but it seems the approach will be just as important as the tech since we are dealing with what resides at the very core of the human condition. The individual rights to the experiences we create, share and consume. Indeed a very personal proposition.

Thank you for the important work you are doing on the Solid Framework with Inrupt and Sir Tim Berners Lee.

Response Essay

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