“Login”: The internet’s largest unsolved problem

Rod Boothby, Santander’s Global Head of Identity and co-chair of the Open Digital Trust Initiative at the Institute of International Finance (IIF), explores what the number of people taking to search engines to ask how to “Login”, reveals about the challenge of online identity.

Identity is the largest unsolved problem on the Internet.

How do we trust each other online? How do we get access to things? How do we login?

And we have proof it is the biggest problem.

The Google Trends graph below compares the numbers of worldwide searches for “Login”, “Trump”, “Covid,” “Football” and “Apple”, from 2004 – present day.

digital identity graphThe first wave of digital identity began with companies giving digital IDs to their employees.

The second wave was the arrival of digital IDs for customers.

Looking at the graph you can clearly see where the second wave begins in 2008, when Web 2.0 arrived in earnest.

Billions of people took to Google to work out how the heck to “Login”.

Interest in “Football” and “Apple” pales in comparison to the simple challenge of how do I “Login”? Not even the arrival of Donald Trump reached the level of interest that challenges with identity and logins cause around the world.

Covid is the only thing that has generated as much ‘interest’ as Identity and Login.

To me, as an economist, this says that the challenges of identity and access are huge and that means there is a massive opportunity.

Do you want to solve the biggest problem on the Internet?

If the answer is yes, then join us.

We are developing the third wave in Identity: Bring Your Own Trusted Identity. One identity solution that you can use everywhere, knowing that your privacy and your data will be protected.

I believe that Identity Information is an asset. I want it protected by an institution I trust, such as my bank. When I am logging, if you want to know about me, ask my bank.

To learn more, read the GAIN DIGITAL TRUST paper. If you are in a financial institution, join the Open Digital Trust Initiative at the IIF. And check out the work being done by Nick Mothershaw and the team at OIX – Open Identity Exchange. They are working to develop a global trust framework that can act as an overlay for solutions based on OpenIDTrust over IP and Microsoft DID.