Imagine a centralized database replete with your personal information that links together your and your family’s vital health, education, and social welfare records. Now imagine the database includes an entire country’s population.
Fifty years ago this year, Denmark launched the world's first nationalized big data project. The country's Civil Personal Registration (CPR) system assigns every resident a "digital ID" that directly connects them with the Danish state to facilitate government-citizen interactions from birth to death and everywhere in between. Originally created to render tax collection and the distribution of social benefits more efficient, the system has become a popular and benevolent instrument in Denmark built on the values of trust in government and sense of community.
Now similar data infrastructures—often built by private sector platforms—are being applied across the globe, but in a climate in which data breaches are growing more frequent and more severe, their implications must adapt to the opportunities—and account for the challenges—of twenty-first century technology. How can citizens ensure their personal data isn't vulnerable to hacking and that their privacy rights are being upheld? What safeguards must government and the private sector take on to guarantee data is used and stored securely? What do CPR-modeled platforms mean for the future of digital democracy?
Join New America NYC, in partnership with the Consulate General of Denmark in New York and Columbia University's European Institute, for a set of conversations on the past, present, and future of digital identity—and the measures we need in place to ensure its use for good.
Elana Broitman @elanabroitman
Director, New America NYC
Board Member and Chair, New America NYC Advisory Council
Ambassador Jonas Bering-Liisberg
State Secretary for Foreign Policy, Kingdom of Denmark
SESSION 1Mikkel Hagen Hess @mikkelhess
Director, Invest in Denmark, North America
Don Thibeau @4thibeau
Executive Director, OpenID Foundation
Zia Khan @ZiaKhanNYC
Vice President, Initiatives and Strategy, The Rockefeller Foundation
Chief Analytics Officer, United Nations
Tara Nathan @Thetaranation
Executive Vice President, Public-Private Partnerships, MasterCard
Louise Matsakis @lmatsakis
Staff writer, WIRED
SESSION 2Rebecca MacKinnon @rmack
Director, Ranking Digital Rights, New America
Jacob Mchangama @JMchangama
Founder and CEO, Justitia
John Paul Farmer @johnpaulfarmer
Director, Technology and Civic Innovation, Microsoft
Amanda Graham @BCCBlockchain
Co-founder and Chief Services Officer, Blockchain for Change
David K. Park @davidchungpark
Dean of Strategic Initiatives, Arts & Sciences, and Faculty Member, Data Science Institute, Columbia University
Natasha Singer @natashanyt
Technology reporter, The New York Times