Editorial

The future? Being in control of your own Digital Identity, says IT pioneer Tom Jermoluk

“I think that’s where all this technology ultimately goes: that it gives the individual back the control of their Identity and their actions,” predicts ex-Silicon Graphics legend

Posted 8 June 2020 by

By 2030, people will be completely in charge of their own Identity when logging into apps online.

That’s according to someone who might just know what he’s talking about; IT industry legend Tom Jermoluk – who also predicts full sovereign Identity is inevitable, where the individual will determine what they are willing to show of their identity, a move he says will totally change the Web.

“You should be able to be in complete control of your own Identity and how you present it, instead of letting Facebook be in charge of your identity and knowing who your friends are and what apps you visit, what things you buy,” he declares.

“Why should they be charged for that or make money off it? It’s going to flip the entire Internet and the ad-supported model and Google and Facebook’s models on their heads.

“You should be in charge of your own identity. It is yours after all. Identity ought to have different layers, depending on whether you’re presenting it to your business, website, or government.”

His call is being shared online via an in-depth interview with Jermoluk in respected international engineering journal IEEE Spectrum, along with fellow Identity and security luminaries public key pioneer Martin Hellman and father of SSL Taher Elgamal.

Tom, or “TJ” as he is more widely known among the Identity cognoscenti, is a former Bell Labs researcher who’s worked in leadership positions at Silicon Valley giants including Silicon Graphics and as a venture capitalist. In April, he set up a new ID company called Beyond Identity with another influential IT history-maker, Jim Clark (founder of Netscape).

“I think that’s where all this technology ultimately goes: that it gives the individual back the control of their identity and their actions,” he concludes – and it’s an idea that surely will become more and more discussed in the ID ecosystem.