Comments on Your online identity is owned by your email provider

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Francisco Robles

Good post! I thought about this quite a bit. It would be nice to rethink the whole online identity topic actually. My previous thoughts were more into having a public email service. I thought of it as the government of the country could create an email per person, as we have physical IDs, but for online identity. If the password (and other security measures like MFA) would be forgotten/lost, we could recover that in government/police offices, and it would be free to every citizen for his whole lifetime. This would allow online services to really trust who you are just with your email address, as if you were using your eID, and the government could use that by default to send emails instead of sending paper letters to our home addresses.


A topic I have been seeing a lot on the web recently. In terms of privacy there obviously are ethical providers these days. For my part I have been several different addresses ever since I started using email almost 30 years ago. They also have changed over time (lots). No problem. I don't use just one address to subscribe to everything. So if I have to change one address there only a few people/organisations to notify. A password manager helps to keep track of which address I use with different services. One can also use a forwarding service like duckduckgo mail. So changing the actual provider only means to change the receiving address in the settings. I know those things are far too inconvenient for most people but I think they are still better than waiting for governments in the pockets of lobbyists to change regulation. Imho using a government email address to subscribe to private services would raise serious privacy questions. So nothing would actually change.

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