Industry News


19 Feb 2018

The changing face of identity in the 2020s

Victoria Baines

Who are we?

Once upon a time, identity was all too simple. From name tags or badges to signatures, that’s all it took to prove your identity. But today, in the changing technological world, identity methods and ideas are altering radically.

Discussing these concepts will be Dr Victoria Baines, researcher, author and speaker. Victoria will be giving a presentation on Identity in the 2020s, looking at how individuals and businesses can take control.

“The notion of identity is changing rapidly, but it’s all too tempting to bury our heads in the sand and insist on outmoded forms of authentication,” says Victoria. “As we approach the next decade, we need to rethink how the identities of people and corporations are shaped, and what we can all do to regain control. Only then can we be fit for the future of connectivity, a world of smart people and the dreaded GDPR!”

Indeed, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will replace the extant Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC, and will come into force on 25th May 2018, as a means of protecting EU citizens’ data privacy and changing organisations’ approaches to data privacy.

With a focus on virtual reality and cyborgs, Victoria’s presentation will put the spotlight on specific examples of the changing face of 21st-century identity. “I’m going to take the audience through positive – and negative – case studies to highlight common challenges and solutions.”

Victoria’s extensive background has seen her work at a number of high profile organisations including Surrey Police (where she was a higher intelligence analyst) and principal analyst for online child protection at the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

“I spent a decade in law enforcement analysing cybercrime. I was Head of Analysis at Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) before joining Facebook in 2013.” As Facebook’s trust and safety manager for the regions of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Victoria’s work concentrated on operational support to law enforcement and strategic engagement with policymakers on online criminal activity.

Today, Victoria continues to appear on TV channels such as CNN and the BBC to talk about the risks and issues connected with today’s technologies and the virtual world. “I’m currently conducting pro bono research on online child safety and cybersecurity in national health services. I am also a Visiting Associate of the Oxford Internet Institute and a Visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University.”

Victoria says that the merging of physical and ‘virtual’ spaces is going to be one of the most fascinating developments to come. “Virtual reality (VR) promises truly immersive hybrid environments in which online identities interact and integrate seamlessly with ‘real’ people, and we’re going to experience these more immediately than ever before.”

Advances in haptic technologies (the science of applying tactile sensation and control to interaction with computer applications) also promise sensation.

“Why does this matter? Well, the more human and machine merge, the more people will experience cybercrime as they would a physical assault or theft, and the greater the expectation that all of us charged with protecting their data will also keep them physically safe.” Victoria says that her research to date suggests that cybercrime legislation around the world might not be ready for that.

Another example given by Victoria is cybersecurity in implantable medical devices such as heart pacemakers and defibrillators. “There are millions of people already walking around whose bodies are connected to the internet. Some of them may not even know it, because the healthcare professionals who fitted these devices aren’t cybersecurity experts.”

“One of the projects I’m working on right now considers how we can encourage patients with implanted devices to be properly informed about the need for digital hygiene without scaring them or detracting from the massive benefits these technological developments bring.”

Victoria’s talk on the concepts of identity in the next decade promises to be an unmissable one. Come and see her at the Cloud Security Expo, which is being held on the 21st and 22nd March 2018 at London’s ExCeL.

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