Search graduate:

Taavi Aher

  • Faculty of Design
  • Design and Technology Futures
  • msc
  • CONTROL AND ETHICS IN DIGITAL IDENTITIES – New Opportunities Through Inclusive Personal Data Management
  • Tutor(s): Martin Pärn

We generate a lot of data in our daily lives by interacting with devices and services. We are the owners of this data, and it is the basis for our digital identity, but we lack ways to understand or control it. For organizations it’s a powerful resource that is used to influence behaviors. It gives insight into how we think, resulting in unethical products and user experiences that have adverse societal effects.

Bringing meaningful change to the situation requires people to be empowered to act as the owners of their personal data, becoming active participants. Organizations need to be supported in ethically using data. These goals need both an ethical framework for data exchange and a design approach that elevates people out of their passive role.

Instant is a concept built on the X-Road architecture. It empowers individuals to control their digital identity through a digital assistant and supports organizations with an ethical framework for sharing data. The assistant helps them navigate the complexities of data by monitoring and analyzing its use, giving an understanding to people and actionable steps to take. The framework simplifies complying with ethical norms and regulations for organizations and creates new opportunities for ethical business models to emerge.

The concept provides an idea of what data management could look like for people in the future and is built upon new design principles for a respectful user experience that were defined through the work. As such, the concept is one possible solution to the issues of control over digital identities, and alternatives can be created using the same principles.