Technical advisor resigns from ID2020 Alliance criticizing direction and immunity passports stance

ID2020 Alliance Technical Advisory Committee Member Elizabeth Renieris has resigned from the organization due to a difference of opinion on the organization’s direction, according to CoinDesk.

Renieris is a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and Board Member with IDPro, and CoinDesk writes that her resignation email alleges the organization is not transparent, is at risk of undue corporate influence, and prone to “techno-solutionism.” She expressed uncertainty at ID2020’s mission, and suggests that it is focused on promoting “decentralized identity solutions at all costs.”

A white paper co-authored by Renieris earlier in May takes aim at the effectiveness and legality of proposed “immunity passports,” and expresses concern about the risks to civil liberties they pose, as well as to private health information from the use of blockchain under the present circumstances. The Covid Credentials Initiative (CCI), which combines the W3C Verifiable Credentials standard with decentralized identifiers (DIDs) and blockchain technology, and was at one point considered for support by ID2020, is criticized.

“The technical architecture is arguably a product of premature standardization, speculative requirements, and highly experimental technologies, rather than the harmonization of existing, widely deployed, and battle-tested solutions,” the authors state.

Renieris also mentions corporate influence. A former Microsoft employee was recently elected Chair of ID2020’s Board of Directors, which also includes a current Microsoft executive.

“This is 100% a hammer looking for a nail,” according to Renieris’ email, as reported by CoinDesk.

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