Glossary

In Depth
Definition

Current definition

Defacto ID

Use 1: Tools that track our location, search history, and all of our daily transactions online create digital records that can be used to identify us as a "defacto ID". This could be through your phone data, a social media profile, or even what you watch via TV streaming services – all of this recorded information is increasingly being used to identify us, or something about us. In this respect, a defacto ID is synonymous with data trails. Often we are not always aware of these defacto digital IDs or exactly how our personal data is being used.

Use 2: An information artefact (or ID) intended for one purpose but used (defacto) for another. For example, in the United States, the state issued driver’s license is often used as a "defacto" national identification artefact, even though it was not intended for this purpose. ID used beyond its original purpose could also be deemed as having "mission creep".

Last updated: 3 June 2019

Source: #GoodID team

See also: Data trails

More around the web

"There are defacto identities or attributes that are created for us when we engage in the digital economy — our phone data, our search data, social media data, data about where we go or what we watch, or data from other smart devices we use. Increasingly, such information can be used to identify us — or something about us — reasonably accurately, either through our own self-assertions or through the assessments of third-party algorithms."

Digital Identity and Privacy (Point of View paper) – Omidyar Network

"The driver's license in the United States is also a defacto ID document and can be used in many states to buy firearms, open a bank account or travel on domestic flights."

2016 National ID Card Trends – Gemalto

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