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The digital world in which we live is dominated by platforms like Facebook, Amazon, Uber, AirBnB etc. These centralised platforms register all our actions and transactions and turn them into detailed profiles about us, which are being used for commercial and/or political steering. The topic of who we are online, that is, of our electronic identity, has great societal and geopolitical importance. There are many differences between US and Chinese digital platforms, but they are all agree in their drive to register and control everyone’s behaviour.

Bart Jacobs will elaborate on an alternative approach to electronic identities, starting from the idea of identity as a collection of personal properties (attributes), that can be disclosed selectively, depending on the context – By organising these attributes in a personal wallet app, exclusively on the phones of users, a new decentralised digital architecture emerges, based on privacy – protection and individual autonomy. Such an approach fits perfectly within the recent European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It is being realised in an open source identity platform called IRMA. It demonstrates that there is an alternative and a choice, especially for Europe.

Bart Jacobs is Professor of Software Security and Correctness, Digital Security Group, Institute for Computing and Information Sciences, Radboud University Nijmegan, The Netherlands.

The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7pm. There will be time for questions after the talk.

This event will be filmed and on the Ri Channel within a few months.