A Declaration of Digital Independence
Earlier this month, I delivered a Web Summit keynote about the importance of taking back control of your digital identity, so together we can build a better internet.
Digital life is risky and complicated
When it comes to our digital lives, this year was an extraordinary one—extraordinary not only in the sheer quantity and scale of hacks and data breaches but also in the magnitude of trust lost between the internet and the world that relies on it. In just a few months, the three biggest internet companies— Facebook, Google, and Amazon—all announced they had been hacked.
As I explained in my keynote, our trust in the internet has eroded. Our data and information are increasingly less secure, online transactions are far from seamless, and the legitimacy of news is something we now question. Instead of being a tool that empowers good—inspiring more human connections, knowledge sharing, and big ideas—the internet has become a source of frustration and sometimes fear.
The root of the problem is digital identity
While the issue is complex, the core problem is clear: Digital identity—the collection of personal data you store and share online when signing in to accounts or making a purchase—is out of our control. We have too many accounts to remember and resort to using the same password everywhere to make life easier. This is the digital equivalent of making 200 copies of your house key and giving one to every delivery person you’ve ever encountered. But, of course, you would never do that, because it doesn’t make sense and is inherently unsafe. Yet this is what most of us do in the digital world when we reuse passwords.
The solution starts with each of us
So how do we fix a problem this pervasive? It starts with each of us. The internet doesn’t belong to anyone—it belongs to everyone. And this creates a unique challenge when it comes to fixing its problems. Governments can have a positive impact with regulation, like the EU did with GDPR. Tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and others also need to do their part. But their attempts at centralizing digital identity have already failed. And for that reason, we know the answer to building a better digital world is by empowering people—all of us—to take back control of our own digital identities by keeping our personal data in our own hands and no one else’s. Only then will we be able to live in a safe digital world and once again use the internet for the good that was intended.
We know the answer to building a better digital world is by empowering people—all of us—to take back control of our own digital identities by keeping our personal data in our own hands and no one else’s.
Take a look at this excerpt from my keynote to learn more about this mission to help the world achieve Digital Independence and the steps that Dashlane is taking towards accomplishing this goal.
Learn more about digital identity by following our blog for updates, and follow me on Twitter @eschalit.
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Emmanuel Schalit brings more than 20 years of experience across the technology, cybersecurity, and media industries to his role as CEO of Dashlane. Emmanuel has steered the business from its inception in 2011 into one of the fastest-growing technology companies in North America. He oversees a global team of talented individuals in New York, Paris, and Lisbon.