17 Jan TEDxJackson Hole Speaker Jewels Rossallini-Coker
What an incredible honor to speak about Identity Management, Taking Your Privacy Back, and How Blockchain Can Stop the Annual 150 Billion Dollar Global Sex Trafficking Industry.
YOU DON’T OWN YOUR DIGITAL IDENTITY.
A third-party institution does. A “middleman.” You may assume it’s the government or a bank, but it’s not.
The owners of your digital identity are big tech companies, some of which are now worth one trillion dollars.
Is this a problem?
Why should you care?
Let me share a few reasons why I care:
When I signed up for online services, I gave companies the ability to turn ME into their product.
What do I mean?
All those activities include accompanying information about me that is bought and sold.
It’s called personal business data. Companies collect it, mine it and buy and sell it like cryptocurrencies!
This “big data” – your personal data – is so valuable that companies include it on their balance sheets.
Your data is listed as an asset.
Did you get a check this quarter from Amazon, Facebook or Google for the profits they made on YOU and your Digital Identity? I know I didn’t.
I signed up for services. I didn’t sign up to be a product.
I believe this must change.
You have a right to ownership over your own data. It is an ASSET.
You need the ability to privatize it, monetize it, or donate it to the charity of your choice.
This is your right. This is my right. It is a human right.
With the ease of the digital age, we all benefit in many ways. My life is infinitely easier because of my digital identity.
I’m enthralled with the promise of all our powerful new technology, especially the power of blockchain.
In fact, I believe in the value so much that I started a blockchain advisory and development company. Even after my husband banned me from speaking
about blockchain for 6 months.
Blockchain will be a turning point for us all.
It has been for me, but not how I expected.
Recently, I was asked by the United Nations to be a founder of a task force of 50 CEOs to tackle global issues with blockchain related to the UN’s 2030
There, I was confronted with information that changed my life, the direction of my career, and my mission as a citizen of the earth.
I also discovered a way that I was uniquely positioned to help as a blockchain entrepreneur.
Did you know the following?
Over 1.1 billion women and children in the world are undocumented.
The trafficking of children and young women is a $150 BILLION a year global industry.
Every 4 seconds another human is abducted or taken into slavery.
Without a valid proof of identity, most basic human services are out of reach.
Critically, this represents a real danger for the most vulnerable – children, women, and migrants who have been uprooted and are fleeing poverty, violence,
war, and sometimes even their own families.
These are staggering numbers.
But there is a solution. We can use blockchain.
The UN Assistant Secretary-General, Yannick Glemarec, believes in this as well. He said that “…leveraging blockchain technology can…save the lives of
millions of children.”
We can use blockchain in a twofold approach to help stop these crimes:
1) Remove the ability to forge fake identities for buyers and sellers, and the people they exploit.
2) Give everyone in the world a digital identity that only they can control
If WalMart is moving to blockchain in order to track and manage their salad growers, we as people deserve the same safeguards.
After all, aren’t people more important than lettuce?
We can fight for the rights of those who cannot do it for themselves.
For those caught in the vicious cycle of human trafficking, we need a radical new solution based on blockchain technology.
Let me give you a broad picture of how blockchain can do this.
First, let’s start with a quick definition of blockchain.
Blockchain is a list of records, which are linked using a type of math called cryptography. This ledger is stored on every computer on its networkdistributed.
This is different than the way most information is currently stored. Right now, most companies keep information in one central location on something
called a server farm. For example, your bank has a central database with all your data on its servers.
Blockchain is different. Every time a record is added to the blockchain, a copy of that record automatically appears on all the computers. This makes the
information very secure.
No one person can alter or change that data—you can only add to the data.
Blockchain can stop human trafficking with the following actions:
Remove third-party institutions that manage and monetize digital information.
Establish sovereign digital identities as a human right.
Create these identities on a platform that cannot be changed, forged, or hacked.
Lock this identity with a cryptographic key.
Decentralize your personal information, unlike now, which means you can trust it. It’s no longer controlled by one institution that could be hacked.
At the UN Sustainability Conference, I thought about how I needed to return as soon as possible to Katchkitchi, Zambia. I will bring a blockchain-based
identity management system. This would give sovereign digital identities to all the children and young girls in the area.
How would this work? Let’s imagine a Zambian girl of 11 named Malindi.
Malindi is very poor and lives with only her elderly grandmother and 23 cousins who also lost their parents to AIDS. But she is smart. She knows that
without a proof of identity, her options in life are limited.
She goes to a local market where she picks up two fliers. One flyer is created by me offering to sign her up for a digital identity and teach her how to use it.
But there’s an equally compelling flyer that also promises to give her an identity and the ability to enroll in school. Curious, she shows up at the address of
the second flyer. Before she can even knock on the door, someone snatches her.
She has just fallen victim to human traffickers.
My heart breaks knowing that every four seconds, someone like Malindi is taken. Someone who was tricked, coerced or kidnapped into a life of misery.
That means every day, another 21,600 children, young girls, boys, and immigrant workers disappear.
Blockchain could give Malindi a digital identity through biometrics, voice recognition, iris recognition, and even gestures. Birth certificates, hospital
records, or other potential personal identifiable paper records do not exist in this part of the world.
With a digital identity, she could go to school, travel, or earn money on her own without needing a third-party who would potentially exploit her.
NOW is the time to take control of your identity. If not for you, then for your children, grandchildren, or Malindi.
Remember those 1.1 billion citizens of the world who have no digital identity.
For most of us here, a compromised digital identity is an inconvenience. Remember the Experian hack?
Inconvenient but not a matter of life and death.
You are valuable. Your digital habits, actions, efforts, and patterns are worth more than you know. And you should have the power to capitalize on that
value – or at the very least, control who has access to it.
It is time to take back your identity and bring control and privacy to your life while forcing accountability and transparency on the global tech titans who
have built their empires on your back.
Blockchain is greater than cryptocurrency. It is a foundational shift in digital standards, a new paradigm in computation, analysis, processing, and
One of the most exciting aspects of this untapped potential is the ability to fight human trafficking through the creation and support of next-generation
digital identity management solutions.
believe in the power of blockchain and am confident that it will change the world.
And I pledge to use the technology to empower millions of people around the world to live freer, more fulfilling lives with digital identities.