Digital Identity for News

First steps towards a technical whitepaper for online identity on news websites


Media outlets need to know a lot about visitors on their websites, to evaluate the quality and impact of their work and to enable monetization through advertising. The current status is, that users’ behaviour and preferences are tracked, often in a very instransparent manner. The tracked data from many websites is combined into one profile for a user.

In addition, the news organization’s interaction with users via social media platforms is not customizable enough to suit the needs of news organisations. They want to be able to moderate and discuss, but also to own the conversation and set the rules.

Users should be able to engage in discussion or even contribute to a news organization’s content. That nature of the interaction can be public, private or anonymous, depending on circumstances.


A system of delegation and negotiation of access rights between users, news organizations and third parties / advertisers.

Key requirement for such a system is, that users control what information is presented to what website (and what information is shared with third parties).

The incentive for revealing personal information to news organizations is that users can gain their trust and boost credibility of comments / contributions. The website can give privileged access and monetary discounts as reward for being able to advertise to the user.

Why News?

News organizations should use their unique position to advocate for new ways in digital privacy protection. With their important their role in society, they need to be able to engage with the public at a more eye-to-eye level. Shaping a more transparent and respectful way of sharing personal data online will build trust between news organizations and their audiences and help them stay in touch.