Personal identity in the context of our daily interactions, comes in several forms (name, an identifier, an account number, etc.) and there are many occasions when we must prove a right: to access, to a privilege or a service; requiring the producing of an identity document or the or the input of an authenticator such as a password or a PIN.
Creating, proving and managing these different forms of identities is often difficult and does not allow them to be cultivated and adequately controlled.
In the context of my bachelors project, I challenged myself to rethink our dependance on identity cards for the identification of self, which I have reasons to believe are simply outdated.
To keep matters short, the identity card was first designed as a tool for authentication onto which the role of identification was tacked onto. In Canada, no one carries an ID card for the simple purpose of identifying one's self; we get a driver's licence because we wish to drive, etc. At the heart of my design, I wanted one's identity to be at its epicenter so as to not be directly tied to a specific need.
A problem that arises occurs when our identity card is asked from various parties who aren't properly equipped to ascertain whether the piece of ID one produces is indeed valid (e.g. the cashier who convinces you to apply for a credit card or the bouncer in front of a bar). Worse, there is no traceability in regards to the use of one's identity. Unless I've consulted the credit bureau, I cannot know whether my identity has been fraudulently used in the past or not, especially not in real time.
Inspired by protocols such as PGP and SQRL, as well as the newfound trust networks on which many sharing economy based services now rely upon, Pretty Good Privacy (or PIGEON for short) proposes a simplification of the interactions related to identity validation. It allows the management of networks of trust where the different facets of our identity can be corroborated by our peers, institutions and government.
Video and prototype below.
Click on the screen below to try out the prototype (temporary)
Click on the screen below to download and try out the prototype. Once downloaded, extract in an empty folder and open ''index.html''. Note that you will need to resize your browser window for it to work properly; so that it matches portrait orientation, i.e. the width of the browser is less than the height of the browser.