On technology neutral policies for e–identity: A critical reflection based on UK identity policy

Edgar Whitley


This paper reviews the arguments for technology neutral e–identity policies.  It uses the recent experience of identity policy in the UK, as well as a consideration of technological developments, to distinguish between two perspectives on technology neutral policies: legal and technological.  Whilst the legal perspective on technology neutrality is intended to provide legal certainty, it fails to address discontinuous technological developments such as zero–knowledge systems and risk based assessments of identity and attribute claims.  These are transforming the basis of identity policies and highlight the challenges of proposing technology neutral identity policies in law.  The paper then applies the technological critique of technology neutrality to review a recent study on identity, authentication and signature policy in the EU.

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JICLT is a member of the Directory of Open-Access Journals (www.doaj.org). ISSN: 1901-8401.