Join the Decentralised Identity Debate at EEMA High-Level Fireside Briefing

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One of the hotly debated topics in the world of identity is whether a decentralised (otherwise known as self-sovereign) approach is the right way forward in the digital world. EEMA has been centre of this debate with the EEMA Identity Blog, and this has been an important platform for the elite of our sector to share their visions and challenge ideas with their peers. Now, we are going to move the debate forward by hosting an EEMA High-Level Fireside Briefing specifically on the topic. The event is taking place at the Atos offices in Holborn, London on 23rd October between 6pm and 8.30pm.

With GDPR occupying much of the European news agenda during the past 12 months, it comes as no surprise that any issue relating to the ‘ownership’ of a person’s data should prove contentious. It has not reached the popular press yet, but no doubt it will. What is holding it back is that the press hacks of the tabloids find the concepts way too complicated to understand. Once we make the discussions comprehensible to the average tabloid reporter, the story will reach the forefront of public interest. “Keeping It Seriously Simple” is essential.

What the identity industry needs to do (and make no mistake – we are an industry!) is to simplify the messages and concepts, so that sound debate can be had, and the public can make an informed opinion. Then market economics may win out.

The public are now stuck with the Government/Citizen identity model, and be in no doubt, it is essential for many purposes, but it need not be exclusive and safer alternatives will become highly desirable.

For ourselves, when you add in the potential to use blockchain technology (always a popular technology and buzzword) there is an inevitable polarisation of opinion, with some calling it a necessity whilst others remain highly sceptical regarding how and if it should work in practice.

I would urge you to watch a short video from Kim Cameron, Identity Architect at Microsoft and read our latest post by John-Erik Setsaas, Identity Architect at Signicat.

We are delighted that John-Erik will join us at the EEMA High-Level Fireside Briefing, to elaborate on his observation that the problem with decentralised identity is that we just can’t trust people. I will be chairing the debate and posing this fundamental question – Do people really want to be in charge of their ID? Joining John-Erik and myself will be David Alexander, Chief Executive of Mydex and Evgeny Chereshnev, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Biolink.Tech, who gave such a compelling keynote on the issue at our Annual Conference in June.

The decision whether to decentralise identity, what it would look like, how it could be adopted, whether it is viable and if there is an appetite for it are critical questions that need the strong robust debate. Participating in this event is an ideal opportunity for you voice to be heard.

The EEMA Fireside Briefing is free-to-attend for EEMA members but pre-registering is essential as places are limited and are sure to go fast. I look forward to seeing you there. For more information and to register visit:

The EEMA Fireside Briefing will be hosted by ATOS in the Holborn area of London – very centrally located for Eurostar, Heathrow, and London City airports. and with plenty of hotels in the area, all of different qualities and prices to suit all budgets. Also, it is about 300m from my favourite eatery (“My Old Dutch”) which is a pancake house with the largest variety of sweet and savoury pancakes anywhere in this decentralised world!

Author: Jon Shamah, EEMA Chair

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