Let’s talk about digital identity with Henk Marsman, Public Speaker, and Principal Consultant at SonicBee.

In episode 87, Oscar is joined by Henk Marsman, specialist and public speaker around ethics of digital identity and Principal Consultant of Identity and Access Management at SonicBee. Henk and Oscar explore why local municipalities may need their own digital identity schemes – including how these local schemes differ from national schemes and how they help people missed by national schemes, alongside some examples of live local identity schemes. They also discuss some disadvantages of local identity schemes and how they could be incorporated into wallet-based identification, like eIDAS 2.0.

[Transcript below]

“Put the human at the centre, what the individual’s needs, what the individuals want to achieve … and that is basically the ethical perspective, or the value perspective on digital identity solutions that we have in the world today.”

Henk Marsman photoHenk Marsman combines deep knowledge on digital identity with an ethical view on the impact on individuals and society of digitalisation of identity. His research on the ‘ethics of digital identity’ is still ongoing. Henk is involved in initiatives related to national digital identity (including eIDAS2.0), municipal digital identity and specifically for undocumented persons. Next to that he’s supporting organisations through his work at SonicBee, a Dutch IAM boutique firm, in digital identity projects. He has worked for 5 years at a top-three Dutch bank (Rabobank) as the global service owner for the Identity and Access Management services, and prior to that was senior manager with Deloitte, leading the Dutch IAM practice.

Connect with Henk on LinkedIn. Find his personal blog at ThroughIdentity and other blogs and articles at SonicBee.

We’ll be continuing this conversation on Twitter using #LTADI – join us @ubisecure!

Go to our YouTube to watch the video transcript for this episode.

Learn about the commercial and technical aspects of Customer Identity & Access Management, at IAM Academy, Ubisecure’s partner training program.

Let's Talk About Digital Identity
Let's Talk About Digital Identity

The podcast connecting identity and business. Each episode features an in-depth conversation with an identity management leader, focusing on industry hot topics and stories. Join Oscar Santolalla and his special guests as they discuss what’s current and what’s next for digital identity. Produced by Ubisecure.

Podcast transcript

Let’s Talk About Digital Identity, the podcast connecting identity and business. I am your host, Oscar Santolalla.

Oscar Santolalla: Hello and thank you for joining us to this episode of Let’s Talk about Digital identity. And something that we have not talked before is, digital identities in local governments. For that very interesting topic, we have a special guest who is, Henk Marsman.

He combines deep knowledge on digital identity with an ethical view on the impact of digitalisation of identity, on individuals and society. His research on the ethics of digital identity is still ongoing. Henk is involved in initiatives related to national digital identity, including eIDAS 2.0, municipal digital identity, and specifically for undocumented persons. Next to that, he is supporting organisations through his work at SonicBee, a Dutch IAM boutique firm in digital identity projects. He has worked for five years at a top three Dutch bank, Rabobank, as a global service owner for the Identity and Access Management Services. And prior to that, he was senior manager with Deloitte, leading the Dutch IAM practice.

Hello Henk.

Henk Marsman: Good morning, Oscar. Nice to be here.

Oscar: It’s great having you, Henk.

So, Henk, let’s talk about identity. But very first, I want to hear a bit about yourself and especially your journey to the world of digital identity.

Henk: Yes, that’s a good start Oscar, thank you for that. I’ve had several occasions looking back at how I ended up in this world, because there no formal training for becoming an Identity and Access Management expert. For me, it started actually when I was doing a half year of exchange study in Finland. Where a professor, in Turku, with a lot of abbreviations on a slide, and we were supposed to pick one and write an essay on it. And I chose the TTP one, which stood for Trusted Third Parties, and that let me in the world of online trust services / public key infrastructure. So, I did my graduation thesis on the same topic, and from that on I was in Cyber Security and PKI basically, and over the years through planning and through accidents, that was henceforth.

I still remember, one time in a consulting firm I was on the bench, there was a project ongoing and there was a free seat at the Sun Identity Manager Boot Camp. Sun was still a company at that time. And I didn’t really want to go, but it was a free seat, so I had to go. And then within half a year I moved over to another company, and it was Deloitte. I accidentally made the remark that I had to do this boot camp on Identity Manager, and from that point onwards I was their Identity Manager Champion. Because as we say in the Dutch, in the saying ‘In the land of the blind, a person with one eye is king.’ So, I’ve been in this area for over 20, 25 years, in consulting.

I spent five years at Rabobank, because I also wanted to see the other side of the table, where you actually need to improve year over year, work with teams and the internal politics of an organisation.

And then after five years, I decided to move back into consulting again. So, I’m with SonicBee, a boutique Identity and Access Management shop in the Netherlands. And besides doing the regular IAM consulting at organisations, I also spend some time on research and study on Digital Identity and the ethical aspects of it when you look at the digital identity solutions on a national level, sometimes even at the global level.

Oscar: Yes, super interesting. And yes, we know that from your research you have been, as you said, exploring the national level of digital identities. But also the local government, which is something particular we are very curious to hear more about that.

So first of all, what are local digital and legal identities?

Henk: Yeah, I came across that because, as part of my research I was intrigued by the gap between; on the one hand the promise of digital identity – stating that everybody has a trustworthy digital identity, we’ll have inclusion, and we can bank beyond banks, we can perhaps even provide a legal identity to persons, although that’s a completely different topic. And on the other hand, the cases where we saw that digitisation, but also digital identity solutions sometimes enhance exclusion, and enhance the inequalities that are already existing in society.

Because when we look at these type of digital identity solutions, it’s no longer in the corporate domain, with the employers, employees and third parties that need access. This is the domain of citizens and residents and how a state provides services to their population. And through my research, I came across the topic of Legal Identity and Digital Identity. And I got in conversation with a couple of municipalities where people were working, on the one hand on smart city type of projects to see how municipal services could be digitised. Which is for most governments, but also for lots of the municipalities, a strategic imperative to also enable their services to the residents and the citizens through digital channels. And on the other hand, also looking at how vulnerable groups in the population could also make use of those services, also through the digital channels, so using a digital identity.

And what I’ve seen so far is that, on a national level, there are like, there’s the supranational and the national regulation and the legislation, and there are a lot of national Digital Identity Initiatives. But on the municipal level, you really encounter the community aspect of it. So, where we can say on a national level, if you’re a Dutch citizen and these are your criteria, you can request a digital identity in these and these manners. And then you can file your taxes online, or request a permit for rebuilding a house, or engaging with the government on other topics and aspects.

But in a municipal level, you quite quickly encounter kind of the, what I would say is, the messiness of society. So, we can’t get everything in clear boxes. So, on the municipal level, you will encounter the people that don’t fit into the definitions and the boxes, that were created on a national level, to, kind of, organise society, or try to organise society by states. So, municipalities kind of struggle on that mid-level; between the local communities and the people that are actually living there, and the national directives and legislations, and they have to combine those two. And for that you see that, in a lot of cases, municipalities and cities rely on national digital identity solutions.

So, for example, in the passports of two of my children are expiring. So, I use my national digital identity, in the Netherlands that’s DigiD. I log into my municipality here and I make an appointment to renew their passports. That is one way.

But in the city, there are also people who struggle with those digital means. They sometimes also have an immigration status, which is what they call irregular, or they don’t have the means to do this digitally. And that is where you see that on the city level, there is much more effort and emphasis on also providing a physical interface for those people. Providing the services, to these residents, in the city.

And that’s where you see local governments and municipalities also sometimes struggle with groups of people, that cannot easily make use of a national level, digital identity solutions. But they still want to enable them, through digital channels, for their services. And that’s where municipalities try to create city cards or municipal discount cards. And especially, in a lot of cases, oriented towards the more vulnerable group. So, discount cards for groups in a community that live on a certain percentage of the minimum income, or by some other aspect. People who need to put in more efforts to get along in, kind of, regular society. And they get discounts through those type of cards.

Oscar: You mentioned, to see a bit of an example. Maybe you can tell me some examples in some cities, but those discount cards, are physical or digital, or there are both?

Henk: Most of the cases that I’ve been reading up, they’re physical. Because in those cases also the municipalities make use of the desks in city hall to issue these cards, to identify the people who need them, out of their central administration.

One of the initiatives, actually two initiatives, that I’m now involved with – we’re looking at also a digital version. So, an app on your phone or a wallet on a smartphone, that people could use for the same type of functionality. And I think that, that is one of the areas that will be quite interesting to see what’s happening there. Because there are a lot of wallets, the technology is already there.

For example, in one of the municipalities, we’re now in the conversation with a coalition of people who are representing more vulnerable groups, but also regular residents in the city. Which you know, the purpose of a digital ID or an identification card, would be to provide a way for people to show their identity. Regardless of their immigration status, because all – we’ll touch upon undocumented persons or irregular immigrants later on – because for some of the services is like accessing a library or a museum, perhaps even opening a bank account, you need to be able to show that you are a resident of the municipality, and not necessarily share a lot of other attributes. And this can be done through a card, but also through a wallet.

Of course, then there are other challenges that you need to address as well, because if the solution that is going to help these groups of people is digital, that means that it will be exclusion to people who cannot get along on those digital means.

So, there was a case in a city, where they were looking at an app on a phone to register for food and stay in pensions for homeless people. And it turned out that the phone that was used to make use of that app, sometimes was also used as a means for payments or the phone was lost. And then you see that that was kind of a prerequisite or requirement, to make use of a digital version in those types of solutions, there should also always be a combination of a physical and a digital solution. If the purpose is to provide access to public services for the general population in the city.

And that is also one of the things that struck me in the research; that there are a couple of angles to this topic of digital identity. And some of them are really coming out of the area of providing services, and they are more the service provider-oriented views. Which, sometimes, tend to be very focusing on, increasing the operating effectiveness, and making the delivery of service more efficient.

And the other aspect that, sometimes, is not completely served by the first perspective is that; if you put the human at the centre, they do this human centred development and analysis of what is going on, and what is needed. Then you see, all of a sudden, a completely different perspective. Where there is a huge variety in humans, in the population, in communities, especially in municipalities that cannot always make use of a digital ID. So, these two perspectives are also sometimes in tension with each other, and the research shows that the purpose or the overarching objective for a digital identity solution for a great extent, determines the success of this and the outcome of this.

So, going quickly back to a country level, but where one country deploys a digital identity solution out of surveillance purposes. So, they want to make sure that the people in the country are really citizens, not just residents. And it’s really focussed on, border control so, making sure that we don’t get the wrong people in. And that can be criminals, can be terrorists, but it can also be people who basically have no reason in this country. Such a solution will be designed on surveillance and monitoring, and more on exclusion, keeping the wrong people out, than inclusion.

Whereas if you set up a system like that to provide the basic services to all residents in a community, or in a country. And such a system will be much more designed and implemented based on inclusion, and will serve somewhat different purpose.

Oscar: So, this you mention, physical, digital, sometimes both – this discount card or this wallet, that for these people becomes the main document, correct?

Henk: For some people as well, yes. So, if I take my situation, I’m in the luxury position of, at least in the Netherlands now, I have a passport, I have a Social Security Number which we call Citizen Service Number. And in the Netherlands, the government has made the legal arrangements in such a way that, basically, all the primary or basic services that you can have here. So that’s health care, education, that is legal support, etc. They are connected to its legal rights of being permissible in the Netherlands, or being allowed to be here legally. For people who do not have that for various reasons, that makes it really difficult to get this health insurance, to visit the hospital, and get medical assistance, for example.

So, the cracks in the system is where this legal framework cannot cover every situation, and groups of people who are falling in those cracks. So, for example, undocumented persons, who do not have a Dutch passport, sometimes they have a passport from their home country, but they don’t have the residency status in the Netherlands. For these groups of people, a municipal identity or a city ID, could be a solution in situations where they are struggling now very, very much. And they struggle, for example, in what I mentioned, that’s accessing healthcare, because in the Netherlands, when you visit the hospital, you need to bring your insurance card. In order to get your insurance card, you need to get that insurance, and to get that insurance, you need to identify and have this Social Security number or a Dutch citizen number. Well, if you don’t have that, then the house of cards comes falling down.

But for these people, in some cases, they are also unable to identify them according to the regulatory framework. For example, when they’re on a bike at night, and their light does not work, and the police stops them. And in the Netherlands, you are not obliged to carry ID documentation, but you are obliged to be able to show it when police ask for it. So for these people, that’s a very scary moment, because if they can’t show the proper identity document at that point in time, because their bike light was broken, then they are at the risk of being detained under the laws for immigration and other people staying in the Netherlands, for example.

And the last example here, is that there is a universal human rights described that provides the right to education for minors. So, in this case, in the Netherlands, if a minor does not have this Dutch Citizen ID, the Social Security ID, they are still able to go to school up until they’re 18 years of age. But it gives still a lot of trouble in the administration, and after they are 18, the day they turn 19, they’re struggling with access to higher education.

That is where you see that kind of, the national regulatory framework covers about 95%, maybe 99% of all the cases. But there’s still a lot of people in this country, who do not, are not getting covered by the legal framework. And in the Netherlands, that can go up to 80 or 100,000 people. Of course, because in the case of undocumented persons, they’re not documented. So, we don’t know exactly how many there are, but it’s a significant amount of people. And they also play a significant role in in, for example, the great economy.

So, nannies and housecleaning. Now if you – during Corona that became very apparent, if you’re really forced to exclude them from society through these measures, then it has, of course, to a certain extent an economical impact. But you also push people out of the society, where their basic human rights are guaranteed. And that is for me personally, one of the triggers to say, well, let’s get engaged on this topic. Because I can walk into a hospital with a stomach-ache, and they will see me, and my expectation was that anybody in my country could do that, and it turns out not to be the case. Because of all kinds of regulations and identification, being able to identify yourself, whether it’s with a physical card or digital, is one of the stumbling blocks in that process.

So besides doing well-paid consultancy at large corporations on Identity and Access Management. I, but also my employer SonicBee, really sees this as something to engage in on society. To also and where we can make the growth a little bit better. How ambitious, or how almost over the top nice that seems, but that being part of society for us as well.

Oscar: Yes, absolutely super important and you have been illustrating very well both of the problems. So why it is needed? Why there’s motivation from the local governments? And how is it affecting is helping some people? But some people are still underserved, as you say.

If you can tell us, some examples from some cities, how has it been done?

Henk: Yes, there’s actually quite a lot of examples of cities who are already providing a city aid to their residents. And one of the most striking I found is the one in New Haven in America, the United States of America. That is a community with a large number of immigrants, and in the United States, the whole system of federal law and local law works slightly different than what I’m used to in the Netherlands, or we have in Europe.

The problem they have in that community was that these immigrants just had regular job, sometimes making a lot of money, but because they had struggles with identifying themselves, they could not open a bank account. So, they walked around on the street with sometimes a lot of cash that led to robbery and mugging, that led to unsafety in the community. So, the New Haven City Council said we need to address this, because these people need to be able to open a bank account in some way, so we can make the community as a whole safer. So, they issued the Elm City Resident Card, as they called it, and that really was designed to protect those 10 to 15000 undocumented immigrants. And that has been evolving over time.

Something similar is present in New York, where they have the ID New York that was started in 2015. Also, to provide access to city services, especially for vulnerable populations. And the trick they did there is that they did two really good things, in my opinion. Well, in the opinion of most of the analysis reports that I’ve read on it as well. They did it through a coalition, so instead of designing it for people, designed it with people. So, it was a broad coalition of representatives out of these vulnerable groups. And the other thing is also that it was not restricted to those vulnerable groups. So, it’s a generic city ID that was created there. And it showed also by the uptake because in one and a half years they had 800,000 users or holders of these cards.

With the vulnerable roots, one of the safeguards there is that it’s only for identification. In 2018 / 2019, there were two challenges to this is city ID or to ID New York solution. One was the change of administration, and the new administration had a completely different focus on immigrants and immigration and wanted to use or abuse their system. To find immigrants and deprive them of some of their rights that they had at that moment. And the other challenge was that financial service providers said it would be a good idea to connect financial services to these identity cards. And that was stopped, that initiative, because the coalition stood up and said, well, you know, financial service providers have different incentive than a city council providing public services to the residents, in the community. And also, for those financial services who will start gathering data, sharing data, analysing data to, you know, get the best financial offer to this person. But a lot of these people are in vulnerable groups and providing them really nice discounts. But then making them pay the credit rate for the next five years is not in their best interest. So that is not something that we want to do.

So, one of the lessons learned from that New York initiative was also to keep it with identity, do not combine it with other services like financial services. Because then you get different incentives and different players in, kind of, the ecosystem of search in municipal ID. And also, one of the things that New York does is that they destroy all evidence of the initial registration within two years. To also make sure that privacy of these people that that register, and you can register, of course, with a U.S. passport, but you can also register with less, I would say, assured identity documents.

So, all the way up to if you’re homeless, with a homeless residence will vouch for you and will provide you with a document stating that you have been staying overnight in their homeless residence for at least 15 days. That will make you eligible to apply for the city ID. And with that city ID again, you can identify yourself, access to basic services. And one of the things that really also showed in New York was that besides enabling vulnerable groups to access services, it also gave them a sense of belonging. So, it also did something in that community where identification was a prerequisite for services, and through that connecting with society and being part of society.

And there are quite a few others, there’s also one in Zurich, Switzerland. Where they started specifically for people without identity documents. So they call this Sans-Papiers, paper people without papers, without documents. And there, for example, you saw that they took the space there was between; what the regulator on a national level stated, and what their responsibilities as a municipality are, to provide these people with a card for identification. To make it easier for them to participate in society, to get specific discounts, etc..

And again, they’re a coalition working on this ID, where in New York they also worked closely together with the police department. It was also the case here, and together with the Red Cross and other actors in the city trying to figure it out. What are the stumbling blocks for vulnerable groups in our population? Can we provide them with an identification solution and can that identification solution also be in the form of a digital identity?

And I think on that aspect, in these situations, I’m not 100% sure to what extent there are already digital. I’ve seen in my conversations here in the Netherlands in a number of municipalities that, digital has some benefits in this case, so, an app or a wallet on a smartphone, because a lot of people have a smartphone, but not everybody.

So, on the one hand, again, you have this perspective of let’s get everybody this wallet and they can use it everywhere and the world will be a better world. On the other hand, such a perspective bypasses the fact that a community of people is very diverse. And if you, we actually had it with access to health care, we said, you know, talking to some health care providers, some GP’s saying, what if we create this this city ID card in an app and it would allow people, undocumented persons to identify. And their response, as practitioners in the field working with these people, said ‘That’s a great idea. But for that very small group of people who cannot do that because they’re not digital literate or they don’t have a smartphone, or it won’t be even more exclusionary to them.’ And that got us thinking and saying, if the objective is to work on the community and include people to a larger extent, then you need to really look at the idea identification and not focus only on the digital art of digital identification.

Although it’s a fascinating topic, it’s a cool development. With eIDAS 2.0 we’ll see a major changes in the next two years, in Europe. But the design principles should be human centric, and I love the quote of one of their one of the NGOs, one of the civic institutes working on it, says ‘Nothing for us, without us’. Because identification can become really core to travelling the society, and the municipality, and being able to access services or not.

Oscar: Absolutely. In these very clear now you have a explained these specific example in United States, Switzerland, also earlier in the Netherlands, they are definitely filling the gaps. Excellent outcomes. But could we also think if this type of local government ID have also some issues, some disadvantages? So, by what you see.

Henk: I mean in the sense of the challenges for these local initiatives, think one of the challenges or potential issues is of course, that when an administration changes or a national law changes, that means that you could be forced to adjust locally, especially if you provide a digital identity solution for vulnerable groups. Those principles of privacy and data control and data storage are critical, so that can be a challenge there. And that is kind of, I think, also to check that it’s a municipality or the community in the population, but it’s also a highly political environment. Of course, in a city council.

And one of the other challenges that we’ve seen here is that the idea is very appealing to provide everybody and methods of identification, regardless of what the national legal framework says. As the national legal framework may tie ID to immigration status. Well, some of the rights people have are not tied to immigration status, but that does leave the question of who will identify a person. So in the case of one of the cities that I’m engaged with now, we’re having that question saying, well, there are, for example, homeless people or undocumented persons or people who do not have this national ID or citizen ID. So who is going to vouch for their identity based on what? And will this identity be added to the national identity register?

Because in the Netherlands we have a person’s registration, and we already know that. The last question will be definitely a no, because that would be creating a backdoor in our national identity register. And of course, that would be very interesting for people with malicious intent. So, you would get a lot of fraud attempts there.

The question before that is basically if we can enable people to get access to all services they are entitled to. Even when they lack a national identity documents, then the challenge that we had of accessing the services actually moves upstream in the process to the question of, okay, so now they connect to social services, but who is actually identifying them? And does that need to be a city like a city council, or can it be a civic organisation? Or should it be a combination of both? And what are the minimum criteria?

So, within New York there are a number of requirements that you can use to get this ID, but for example, if you a slightly different focus, but it’s top of mind for me at the moment. If you look at Aadhaar the biometric national identity solution in India, which has been quite successful, they have a list of over 32, what they call breather documents. So, registering in the system, you have basically 32 options which range from passport to drive for license. And if all else fails there, if there is no document, then you can get two officials from your village, or your city and when they vouch for your identity, you will get registered.

Those type of questions then come up and you’re basically working on the; on the one hand, working on the fabric of society. So what does this notion of identity mean for society, and how can we make sure that it’s, on the one hand formally properly arranged, but on the other hand flexible enough? Because we are dealing with humans and once we start excluding them, then we really are sometimes violating basic human rights. With what I’ve also seen in my research that is actually happening various instances around the world.

So those could still be challenges and of course also expertise around this topic, which is something that a local government would need to build up and sustain over time.

Oscar: Yes indeed, thank you for explaining that. Absolutely, there’s still a lot of work to be done. One more question related to, you mentioned eIDAS 2.0, especially the wallet that has been in many people’s radars.

How would this type of identity, local government identities, can be incorporated into wallet-based identification? So, other existing, let’s say, or already planned, like eIDAS 2.0.

Henk: Yeah, I think that question is, I think there are two questions in there. One is, can you use a wallet? And I think there are many wallet types or hold type solutions already available in the market. So, in that sense it’s in that area, it will be more a question of, you know, which technology, which solution do we select and is it safe and also privacy safe?

What is happening in, on a European level with eIDAS 2.0. So, the ambitions for a European digital identity, based on a wallet solution, is that ties into the national governments because they have the – the national government has the authority over their citizens and their residents. So, eIDAS 2.0 is putting down a legal framework that ensures that there is a legal backing for a national digital identity, in a wallet.

So, for example, the Dutch government is now working on – how are we going to get our national identity? So, the National Identity Register enabled for an identity wallet under eIDAS 2.0. They are also working on a wallet solution, so that in two years’ time everybody who is a Dutch registered citizen can download the app, download the wallet, basically stored their national identity data in there, of course, are some questions around identification and authentication in that process. And then use it in the Netherlands, but also in Germany and in France, because the eIDAS legal framework will provide the legal backing for that cross-border order acceptance of those solutions. It can also be used on a city or municipal level, except for those people who are not part of the National Identity Register.

And that’s where it comes back to vulnerable groups in the community, where on a state level or a national level, I have this feeling that it’s easier to stick to general classes, and order, and regulations. Whereas on a municipal level, you really need to work on the translation to society with all the variety and all the and the people, the individuals and the groups of individuals in there. Even though on paper, on a national level, there are solutions for them, and they should be either out or in. You find that in reality some people are in-between and on a city level you need to deal with them because they still have basic rights, that you need to provide them regardless of whatever status they hold.

And I think for that, the eIDAS 2.0 will – well, my question is, whether eIDAS 2.0 does will make that a better world or not? Because again, this is a solution that is based on a national identity registers. Well, at least the aim is to make it an easy-to-use solution, but it means the majority of people using it will rely on it. That also means the majority of service providers will accept it, and perhaps move to a direction that they prefer that specific type of use.

So, there is the risk of enlarging again, the inequalities that you have in society there. And there have been cases already also where we’ve seen that these types of solutions, although they start as an option, as a voluntary solution, and you don’t have to join. Once you get into an ecosystem and other services are built on it or connected to it. So, kind of the generativity kicks in, of these types of solutions, then it becomes increasingly difficult to opt out. And I think as a commercial service provider, there’s a different perspective, different values at stake than as a public services organisation like a municipality.

Oscar: Indeed. Final question for you, Henk. For all the business leaders that are listening to us now, what is the one actionable idea that they should write on their agendas today?

Henk: That’s a good question. I think if I could give one actionable item is; put on your calendar to take on whatever digital identity solution you’re working. Take 5 minutes or maybe 10 minutes and basically take the perspective of the individual human. Realise that there is a huge variety in individuals. Everybody is unique, so generic solutions will only go that far. And if you put the human at the centre, what the individual’s needs, what the individuals want to achieve.

And that’s, for example, not only access to a bank account, but it is also independence, autonomy, agency, free will, also living a life that’s worth living, being able to flourish. Just spend a little bit of time on that perspective and then go back to everyday work, but take that perspective in mind that especially around identity solutions and also digital identity and digital identification in the end, there is a person on the other side of the line, which is a human, a flesh and blood, And that perspective, I feel, needs to be included more in the solutions that we build. And that’s also why I think we should have more conversations on the values that are at stake, the impacts of the solutions that we built. And that is basically the ethical perspective, or the value perspective on digital identity solutions that we have in the world today.

So I would put that on the calendar, take 5 minutes picture the human and what they need, what they want, what they are entitled to, what their privileges are, what their duties are, what their virtues are, maybe even. And then continue with the important work that I think most practitioners in this field are doing that.

Oscar: Great reminder. Thanks a lot, Henk, for this super insightful conversation. I commend you for all the work you’re doing on this. Please finally, let us know for the ones who would like to follow the conversation with you, what are the best ways?

Henk: Yeah, I’m quite active on LinkedIn, so I post a lot there and I like a lot there on this topic. That also has a link to a personal blog site of mine, which is henkmarsman.wordpress.com. I call it ThroughIdentity, because in my when I started on my research, I came across a lot of identity solutions and I thought we need to think these things through, right up to the end.

So it became, thinking through digital identity, and that ‘thinking through digital identity’ in brief is now ThroughIdentity. And also, on sonicbee.nl or just SonicBee sites itself, there are blogs and articles by me and by colleagues that people can follow. And those are the 2 or 3 main channels.

Oscar: Excellent. Thanks a lot, to Henk for this conversation and all the best.

Henk: Yes, Thank you to Oscar. Thank you for having me. And all the best also, with the blogs and with Ubisecure.

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