Thursday, February 7, 2013

UK - Foresight report on the future of identities

The BIS Foresight programme has published a report on the Future of Identity: Changing identities in the UK: the next 10 years.
The Foresight project on the Future Identities set out to explore how changes in technology, politics, economics, our environment and demographics will affect our notion of identity.

The aim of the project was to come to a broad and independent scientific view of changing identities in the UK through a synthesis of existing evidence from a range of academic disciplines, including computer science, criminology, the social sciences and the humanities.

The Report identifies key challenges for effective policy making and implementation in a rapidly changing, globalised, technology-rich, and densely networked UK. It focuses on implications for: crime prevention and criminal justice; health, the environment and wellbeing; skills, employment and education; preventing radicalisation and extremism; social mobility; and social integration.

The drivers of change included:
  • Hyper-connectivity
  • Online identities
  • Social media
  • ‘Big data’
  • Cybercrime
  • Biomedical technologies
In particular:
Hyper-connectivity is driving social change and expectations, while bringing people together in new ways. By 2011 there were more than seven billion devices connected to the internet, and numbers are predicted to reach 15 billion by 2015. Sixty per cent of internet users in the UK are now members of a social network site, increasing from only 17% in 2007. By offering virtually unlimited storage capacity, the internet allows people to document any aspect of their lives, creating a wealth of personal data which can be ‘mined’ for insights, by private sector companies and potentially by government. This means that people’s online identities have value in a way that is new

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