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Internet Identity Eco-system Seminar

Oct. 4th - Oct. 6, Rome, Italy


We gratefully acknowledges Fondazione Teatro Valle Bene Comune for hosting this workshop.



This Project was made possible in part through a donation from the Internet Society.

The primary purpose of this seminar is to develop a common background for understanding the new forms of production and valorisation based on the Internet and the emerging identity eco-system. In particular, this workshop wants to investigate the emergence and expansion of the "identity marketplace" and focusing on its implications and consequences on the economy and shifting relationships of power.

During the last few years, the Internet economy has mainly developed using a business model that offers services for free to the end users, but at the same time creates profits by aggregating, exchanging, and selling personal data with implications on the users’ privacy and digital rights.

The principal purpose of this work is to develop a common background for understanding the new forms of production and valorisation based on the Internet. In particular, this workshop wants to investigate the emergence and expansion of the the new identity marketplace and focus on both the social and economic implications.

The huge financial and technical resources needed for the worldwide processing, and managing of such a massive amount of personal information, leads naturally to the formation of global oligopolies. For example, already the internet is increasingly dominated by a small number of platforms: Google controls nearly 82% of the global search market and 98% of the mobile search market, Facebook is dominates over 90% of social networking, and Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft dominant the mobile market and cloud-based services platforms. Given this trajectory, it seems that the new identity eco-system will also likely globally be dominated by a single company or handful of competitors. Another possibility is state intervention, but so far this has not been forthcoming, although it has been revealed that state intelligence agencies like the NSA have been gathering vast amounts of personal data.

Due to the complexity of the internet and the emerging identity ecosystem, much analysis so has been limited to specific disciplinary backgrounds. We are facing the difficulty of grasping this pervasive system in an holistic way where the actors involved in the production and shaping of this system (such as developers, hackers, and designers), often perceive only a very limited role, while those who develop socio-economic approaches do not understand the technical details.

This initiative aims at activating a process of recomposition of subjectivities from various disciplines that will raise awareness of the stakes of the political economy of the Internet, resulting in a common vision that can lead to the creation of a constituency to work on awareness, rights, claims, self-governance issues, and technical standards: the kind of work necessary in order to preserve an open multi-stakeholder governance in the new identity eco-system.


Adapted from Francesca Bria- Open Innovation Service Policy Group (OISPG) Service Innovation Yearbook 2012

Seminar Objectives

Without both the creation of a shared technical, social, and economic analysis and without a concrete proposal for a bottom-up framework for the transparent governance of social data and open access to collective knowledge, the open internet of today risks to become a huge market of personal data, dominated and managed by few giant companies that will in turn hinder innovation and with dangerous political consequences.

The work of the proposed initiative will start from a preliminary critical socio-economic analysis of the interests at stake, the mechanisms of the process of valorisation of social data, as well as the creation of a map of the new powers and interests. Please find here the introductory paper http://www.liberosapere.org/iie-2013.pdf (Francesca Bria, Francesco Nachira, Federico Primosig).

The Internet Identity Ecosystem seminar is a highly multidisciplinary seminar that combines developers, activists, and experts in computer science, sociology, economics, law, and political science. We hope to provide an open and multi-stakeholder process that can involve not only institutional actors but also developers, activists, academics, social movements, civil society, and independents.

We asked invite contributions from invited experts, looking in particular papers for discussion to be contributed that will provide a view of trends that cross disciplinary boundaries. After the seminar, the conclusions will be published. During the days of the seminar there will be a public launch event.


There are no participation fees for the open event. The opening session and working group are invite-only.


Workshop Location:

Rome, Teatro Valle, Via del Teatro Valle, 21

Language of the workshop: English - Service of simultaneous translation available. English is the language used in the preliminary documents, working papers, documentation and on-line debates.

Languages of the open day: English and Italian - Service of simultaneous translation available. Transcriptions will be available.

Workshop Agenda

Open event is in blue, black text is only for invited seminar participants.

DAY 1: October 4th - Friday


Welcoming ISOC
Introduction of IIE Organization Committee


  1. The Internet disrupts the real world: The Internet of Things and the Smart Cities What needs to be done?
  2. Social data mining and the future of personal and social data
  3. Future infrastructures needed to enable collective intelligence and privacy


13:30 - 14:00 Lunch Break



  1. Mapping and building common digital infrastructures
  2. Surveillance, markets, and power in the current Identity Ecosystem:
  3. Value, common, and the future of money


Working Dinner

DAY 2: October 5th - Saturday


Inter-groups reporting and discussion.



The evolution of the Internet

Keynote speeches and panels during open event (t.b.c.)
(open session involves the hosting organisation and open to the general audience)

  • The Internet as the capture of collective intelligence production of subjectivity: Power, surveillance and the Internet war
    Panel: Carlo Formenti, Maurizio Lazzarato, Bifo, Jeremie Zimmerman
    Chair: Federico Primosig

  • Fundamental rights and freedoms in the Internet Age: identity, citizenship and commons Keynote speakers: Stefano Rodotà, Eygeny Morozov, Smàri McCarthy
    Chair: Francesca Bria

  • Networked social movements claiming new rights, communication freedom and democracy: where do we go from here?
    Panel: M15 Spain, Pirate Party Iceland, Citizen Foundation Iceland, M5S Italy, Loa Acrobax basic income platform, Costituente dei Beni Comuni, Movimento Passe Livre Brazil
    Chair: Ilenia Caleo

  • Drinks, networking and music event

    DAY 3: October 6th - Sunday

    9:30 - 12:30: REPORTING & CONCLUSIONS

    There are no participation fees for the open event. The opening session and working group are invite-only.

    Program Committee