History of Identity

In the first segment of this course, we delve into the complex relationship between the internet and identity. Tracing back to the inception of the internet in the 1960s, we uncover how it was primarily used to share information among a small group of government researchers. The early web fostered anonymity, with usernames and passwords enabling separate digital and physical identities. However, this format made it difficult to verify identities consistently.

Fast forward to the present day, and the internet has transformed how we execute daily tasks like banking, shopping, dating, and filing taxes. But this convenience comes with a price. As our reliance on the internet grows, we share more sensitive data online, which is increasingly vulnerable to breaches. Despite the alarming risks, many companies still store personal information with subpar safeguards. This series examines the history of internet identity, the challenges posed by digitization, and the efforts to construct a more secure internet.