In this blog, Zara Rahman argues for the importance of a constructive approach to the digital identity discussion, focussed on the constructive ways in which advocates can drive ID systems towards civic good.
Noting that “It’s far easier to critique than it is to construct,” Rahman calls on civil society advocates to suggest viable ways in which ID systems can support social justice. She continues:
Looking to the broader role of civil society organisations in the design and roll out of ID systems, Rahman highlights the importance of knowledge sharing and advocacy work as a means of shaping said systems for social good. Conversely, the piece considers the ways in which digital ID systems can conflict with the interests of civil society. Rahman notes that:
Whilst there are circumstances in which digital ID systems may benefit an undemocratic, autocratic state, there are also circumstances in which those same systems could be used as a tool for social justice. Rahman argues that any conversation around digital ID must recognise this inherent nuance and incorporate the skills and perspectives of civil society advocates.
Ultimately, she concludes, civil society advocates must actively participate in the conversation that is shaping digital ID, providing solutions rather than pure critiques. It is by putting forwards constructive insights and ideas, and by sharing their skills with the ID community, that advocates can best support good ID for all.