WSIS Forum 2013 Workshops

To be or not to be identified: Hamlet’s quandary in the digital era

The Internet Society organised a thematic workshop at the WSIS Forum on 16 May 2013 from 11:00 am to 12:45 in Room M of the International Telecommunication Union, Place des Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland.

This interactive session explored how individuals portray themselves on the Internet and how others perceive them. It considered the implications of identity, anonymity, pseudonymity and authentication for Internet participation and governance.

  • How are individuals “identifiable” on the Internet? Are they aware how others perceive them? To what extent can individuals render themselves less “identifiable”?
  • Should individuals have the right to go online anonymously/pseudonymously? What conditions (if any) should such a right have?
  • Are “throwaway identities” really disposable?
  • Is the next big thing “Bring Your Own Identity”? What might this look like?
  • Is there a future in “Internet cash”?
  • Susan Chalmers, Policy Lead, InternetNZ
  • Petru Dumitriu, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Geneva and Permanent Observer to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva
  • Xianhong Hu, Division for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, Communication and Information Sector, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • Danil Kerimi, Head of Information and Communications Technology – Government Community, World Economic Forum
  • Paul Mitchell, General Manager, Technology Policy, Microsoft
  • Patrick Ryan, Public Policy & Government Relations Counsel for Free Expression and International Relations, Google
  • Carlos Moreira, Founder and Secretary-General of the International Organization for the Security of Electronic Transactions, OISTE

Christine Runnegar, Director, Public Policy, Internet Society

Remote moderator

Nicolas Seidler, Policy Advisor, Internet Society

Additional reading

Report – 2012 IGF workshop – Governing Identity on the Internet
Background paperupdate and report – 2012 IGF workshop – Who is following me: tracking the trackers

Date and Time

Thursday 16 May 2013