Sometimes people would prefer to be invisible when they are on the internet. We are not talking about people who are violating company policy by watching the live streaming game on ESPN. This is the CEO or the investment banker who doesn’t want anyone to know he’s in Bentonville, Arkansas because it could tip off Wall Street or a competitor that they are about to do a deal with Walmart. Millions, even billions of dollars, could be on the line if someone can tell from their cell phone or some message they send. There was a time when Bill Gates was supposed to be at a party in Seattle in May, 2008m and someone said that he was in Walldorf, Germany (which is where SAP headquarters are). For the next week rumors were flying that Microsoft was going to buy SAP. They didn’t, but then the rumors started that because the specific city he was in was leaked – that alone could have killed the deal. We may never know. But it amplifies the point about how important privacy can be for certain people in certain roles.
Something that could actually mask your presence on the internet, be totally anonymous, including what network you are on would also be incredibly valuable and powerful.
It might surprise you that this already exists today.
But you can’t buy it.
That’s because it exists in the hands of the military. They have a vendor who allows anyone to be completely invisible when it comes to technology networks. You can imagine how powerful this is for them. The big asterisk is that in the wrong hands, it can also be a really bad thing – because a bit like the stealth technology in aviation, there is no “off” button for this ability to be invisible. So they are already extremely careful about how they use this because in military and intelligence hands, an asset can become a liability very quickly.
So what’s probably going to happen is that vendor is going to take this incredibly cool and powerful product into the business world. And to maintain the same level of rigor of who’s on it – they are going to use two tools to manage it:
- Invitation only. This is not going to be something you will be able to sign up for. It’s going to be rolled out slowly and carefully, and top executives at banks and tech companies that often need to do deals in secret are the kinds of people who will be invited.
- Vetted IDs. Once invited – people will have to go through a rigorous process to confirm that they are who they say they are (and that the pass all of the background checks you would expect). That’s where AuthenticID comes in. That’s what they do.
Once in this system – since users are invisible, they won’t know who else is in this private ecosystem – but they will be able to trust at it is secure. With all of the biometrics being stored in the secure enclave of their personal device, not only will people be unhackable – none of the IDs will be in one place, by definition, so a hacker would have to try to hack each person’s phone to try to get to them, which couldn’t happen in the first place if you have been paying attention.
This is very cool.
It’s very powerful.
It’s coming soon.
It will be more desirable than a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory.