While we might be decades away from the ‘Internet of objects’ promised by IPV6, the ‘Internet of People’ is already there and strong, demonstrating the power of technology to transform the way we think, learn, work, collaborate, do business, entertain and plan our future. People are now acting subjects of the Internet, transforming the Internet for people and organisations to the Internet of people. We are moving away from an Internet where individuals were treated as mere objects to an Internet where they are acting social subjects. The reification process of the human being by technology was not our fate.
The central role individuals now play in the Internet, calls for a radical rethinking of its organisation, in particular, the way the ever-increasing flow of personal data is being created, stored, connected, accessed, protected, exploited and managed.
The growing use of the Internet leading to the accumulation of personal digital records, their sheer number, scope and diversity leads to the emergence of what is now commonly referred to as ‘digital identity’ or ‘eSelf.’ Generated as the result of individual’s behaviour, the digital identity is becoming a key component for self-awareness and social interaction for the reflective learner, professional and citizen who are contributing to inventing the 21st century civilisation.
The socially connected digital identity will be the pivot of tomorrows Internet architecture. The Internet of free subjects, where we are in full control or our identity, is the promise of a technological revolution of great magnitude.