Photo: / Nikada

Open Questions on Good ID: Can it be Measured?

– Omidyar Network

Measuring digital identity requires nuanced and versatile systems. Abiah Weaver explores how to create standards that evaluate what is and isn’t Good ID

Abiah Weaver at Omidyar Network approaches the question: how can we measure Good ID?

The article opens by observing the challenges inherent in measuring Good ID. Weaver acknowledges that there is not yet a robust system for doing so, and suggests that, at present, the most constructive approach to supporting Good ID is to provide: “digital ID issuers, policymakers, and users with a mechanism for constant improvement and a progressive roadmap for offering best-in-class digital identity.”

Noting the importance of developing a nuanced and versatile approach to measurement in future, the piece goes on to consider several key considerations when measuring Good ID, starting with the experiences of users. People’s positive experiences with – and participation in – digital identity systems will be an important gauge for the success of policies, technologies and practice.

Additionally, the efforts of key decision-makers, like governments and companies, will also be key to assessing Good ID. Weaver highlights the progress currently being made in this area, as more influential technologists and legislators engage with the field and acknowledge users’ perspectives.

Finally, the piece observes the importance of measuring Good ID by potential future risks. Tools like Ethical OS can help forecast prospective uses of identity services and products, allowing more accurate assessment of the impact technologies could have in future and the extent to which they meet the standards of Good ID.

Weaver concludes by noting the importance of collaboration as a route to achieving measurable Good ID. Omidyar Network is working alongside the World Bank Group’s ID4D program, as well as the World Economic Forum and its members; partnerships which generate insights that can inform future measurement mechanisms.

The piece ends on an optimistic note. Weaver suggests that, although it will require much work and communication to create systematic measurement standards, it is possible to achieve Good ID, “if we are collectively ambitious and work together.”

It will be critical for the Good ID movement to identify what are the highest quality and most important indicators, who is best placed to assess digital identity systems, how often these assessments need to take place, how to preserve the integrity of such measurements, and what decision makers (including ordinary people) want to know about the systems

View article