“We, the People” risks becoming “They, the Product as a Service” for those who control the data and set digital identity policies.
Just as the so-called fourth industrial revolution is merging our physical, digital, and biological identities, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and World Trade Organization (WTO) are looking to bring digital identity to physical objects, digital products, and biological beings.
“Any package, pallet or container can now be equipped with a sensor, transmitter or radio frequency identification (RFID) tag that allows a company to track where it is as it moves through the supply chain—how it is performing, how it is being used, and so on.”
“In the near future, similar monitoring systems will also be applied to the movement and tracking of people” — Klaus Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, 2017
On April 12, 2022, the WTO and WEF published a report “encouraging the development of a global certification framework” for digital identity systems of persons and objects — both physical and digital.
According to the report, “The Promise of TradeTech: Policy Approaches to Harness Trade Digitalization”:
“End-to-end trade digitalization requires a global approach to digital identities of natural and legal persons as well as of physical and digital objects sending or receiving electronic information to avoid creating digital identity silos.”
While the report is concerned with digital identity as it relates to digitalizing global trade systems, the seed has been planted to normalize the idea of treating people like products to be tracked, traced, and monitored for compliance with certain standards.
Just as RFID chips, IoT devices, and other sensing technologies track and trace products through their “life cycles,” the same can be said about tracking humans through their own “life cycles.”
“Traceability can also help to monitor the lifecycle of a product with a view to reducing fraud and theft or to assessing its contribution to a global circular economy” — The Promise of TradeTech, WEF & WTO, 2022
The rest is here: The Sociable