Confirmed Identities Can Promote Online Civility While Protecting Privacy

How do identity solutions—and identity vendors—contribute to online civility and privacy?

Michael Bolcerek, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Aristotle, recently discussed both civility and privacy with Domingo Guerra, Executive Vice President of Trust and General Manager of North America at Incode Technologies. Aristotle and Incode announced their partnership in September 2023, and both firms are deeply committed to the twin goals of robust identity and preservation of individual privacy.

Online Civility

This level of animosity that we see on social media is often because of lack of identity. Over time, I think the introduction of identity into social media will help to calm this issue we’ve got, where we can’t speak friendly to each other.

Michael Bolcerek, Aristotle

On the Internet, it has been said, nobody knows you’re a dog. Or who you are. Or if you even exist.

While the anonymity of the Internet can have positive aspects, there are clear negative ramifications. These include the ever-present lack of civility in online communications. Anonymity especially inflames online discussions when bots post incendiary content, sometimes sponsored by a hostile nation-state, in which the postings incite doubt and misplaced anger. The impact of bots is twofold:

  1. Bots typically take a fringe argument to obtain more views or click-throughs taking the subject of a discussion further from a center.
  2. This troll traffic is then captured by algorithms in the social media platform and elevated in viewership making the point more visible to the public.

One way to correct the lack of civility is to introduce robust identity verification on social media platforms. This identity verification at the very least ensures that there is a heartbeat behind a post.  While some platforms have taken incremental steps toward providing identity verification, most platforms still permit anonymous accounts that can spread disinformation.

Secondly, when online postings link to a verified person, it reduces the chance of incendiary comments since people are less motivated to take extreme positions when their names are attached to the posts. And a link to a verified person significantly reduces the ability of unknown actors to conduct hate campaigns.

Protecting User Privacy

It’s always a balancing act between identity and control of a person’s identity and the information that a consumer has provided from a PII (personally identifiable information) perspective. Once individuals have more control over their information, they’ll also understand that it’s important as an asset, and that they will demand more from companies in protection of that asset.

Michael Bolcerek, Aristotle

As Bolcerek notes in the interview, governments around the world are enacting privacy legislation to provide users with more control over their PII.

Aristotle and Incode support these moves.

  • Both Aristotle and Incode comply with these legislative acts and their requirements for robust protection of PII, consent for various uses of PII, user-initiated removal of PII, and other mandates.
  • Both companies use a risk-based approach to identity and privacy that places the highest value on the individual’s right to their information.
  • Finally, both companies provide privacy-focused identity solutions to their customers.

Because of these shared values, Aristotle and Incode work together as valued partners to provide firms with industry-leading solutions. Aristotle selects its partners based on the value that each partner places on the rights of individuals to their personal data and the importance that each organization places on security.

To see the conversation between Michael Bolcerek and Domingo Guerra, watch the video below.

And to find out more about the Aristotle Integrity Suite, including the Integrity AutoDoc solution that incorporates Incode’s industry-leading document and biometric verification technologies, click the “FREE DEMO” button in the upper right corner.


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