What's the Latest Development?

A new project out of Berlin is issuing Facebook identity cards that, in principle, would work like a government-issued ID. Called the FB Bureau, the group makes ID cards with your photo, Facebook name (or moniker) plus a QR code. To verify your identity, retailers or authorities could scan the code with a mobile device or computer. When signing up for a new service on the Internet, many people are already accustomed to using Facebook Connect to establish their identity on the new site, so perhaps Facebook will be trusted in real life as well.

What's the Big Idea?

With 800 million users, Facebook is already the dominant identity system on the Web. And as the Internet becomes even more ubiquitous, our online identities might come to replace government-issued IDs. The FB Bureau believes the fight for an independent identity no longer makes sense. Instead, the relevant question to most individuals is now deciding which organization will control your identity. Just as Occupy camps are often physical manifestations of online space, digital identity could be brought to bear on traditional institutions.

Photo credit: FB Bureau